The Transit Workers Union has been running a contest, asking New Yorkers to submit photographs of disgusting rats, to demand the MTA to improve current garbage cleaning/pick-up standards. And today the TWU has revealed the winner of a free monthly Metrocard. The Daily News reports that Michael Spivack's photograph of a rat with sores or burns or something horrible won over voters.

According to the News, Spivack "snapped the creepy critter on the platform of the Seventh Ave.-53rd St. station in the summer of 2008." He said, "I was waiting for the D train when I saw something on the platform. The thing wasn’t moving but it was alive. I got as close as I dared to get."

The TWU's site, Rat Free Subways, notes, "Rats are proliferating in the New York City subways"—">no kidding!—"Riders overwhelmingly agree -- it's getting worse. Aggressive rats are bolder about coming onto the platforms, and have even been known to bite riders. They invest the "refuse rooms" where garbage is stored. Since the Transport Workers Union began shining a spotlight on this problem, the MTA has announced a program to clean 20 stations -- that's less than four percent of the stations system wide. It's not enough. More must be done!" and offers these ideas: "More trash removal pickups from each station; Patch up rat holes in walls and floors; Place more platform trash cans in stations; Use tight-fitting lids for trash bins, so rats can't get in; More extermination and follow-up."