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Love it! The MTA's board says free newspapers are what caused subway flooding in 2004. Which contradicts an April report from the MTA's inspector general, who found that the agency was at fault for severe flooding that shut down much subway service on a September day (September 8, 2004 - when Hurricane Frances came to town and wreaked transit havoc). The April report noted the MTA's "historic neglect" of valves, difficulties Transit Authority first responders had in arriving to the scene, lack of TA command centers, and trash and muck clogging drains. MTA board member Barry Feinstein, however, said, "These hand-distributed free newspapers have been and continue to be a major cause of clogging the drains."

It's awesomely convenient how the MTA board finds the time and money to conduct another report to say it wasn't the MTA's fault - it was the free newspapers. And the board didn't even issue the report from the investigation - fishy, eh?

The MTA says it has increased subway maintenance and uses vaccuum trains, but come on, there are more people riding the subways and trash cans are overflowing at busy stations, leaving trash on platforms that soon falls into the tracks. It is certainly a hard and thankless job that maintenance workers have. But the free newspaper aren't the only ones to blame. We frequently see the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Daily News and Post and fast food detritus and other crap in the tracks as well as am New York, Metro, the Village Voice, NY Press...

The Straphangers Campaign is also skeptical of the MTA board's findings, tell amNY and Metro, "The Straphangers Campaign is very skeptical of this conclusion. In our view, the real culprit is the MTA's failure to increase its cleaning staff at a time when ridership is at levels not seen since the late 1960's."