Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Subway Rats Scapegoated

Gene Russianoff, staff attorney of the Straphangers Campaign, noted that in a recent survey riders reported seeing rats on about 1 in 10 subway platforms. He compared seeing rats in the subway to seeing “an abandoned lot” or a broken window. “It doesn’t give you a sense of confidence that people in charge of the system are really in charge of it,” Mr. Russianoff said.

Really? We're going all broken windows on rats in the subway? That is some total baloney! As much as I'm not a fan of people eating kung pao chicken on the subway, banning subway eating has almost nothing to do with controlling the rat population of the tunnels. Still, please, leave the stank food at home.

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Aloysius (#1,808)

I always like watching the rats have their little dramas. I make up little stories for them that all end with tragic subway accidents.

BadUncle (#153)

A few years ago, an editor of Chow interviewed me about NYC eating habits. Asked if many people ate on the subways, I said "no, only like one or two on any given car, if at all." Asked why, I told her it was disgusting for all parties involved. Eating on a train is only a step above eating in the Penn Station men's room.

jfruh (#713)

It's always fascinating to me the wildly variant attitudes (legal and social) about eating on public transit in different cities. In London a few years ago there was an attempt to ban drinking alcohol on the Tube which was defeated after several MPs gave impassioned speeches about our rights under the Magna Carta etc. to get shitfaced on the Hammersmith & City Line.

City_Dater (#2,500)


But drinking (unless it ends in vomiting) is far less likely to lead to such fetching sights as an abandoned styrofoam container of dirty rice and chicken bones, just waiting on a seat or the platform like a rodent buffet.

It's not the presence of rats in the subway system that cause me to question my confidence in the MTA. It's the F train.

David (#192)

Some might wonder if it did not take long for Joseph J. Lhota, the new chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, to find himself with a meeting request from a bottled beverage and food product maker's representative to discuss two of the most contentious quality-of-life issues for subway riders … like where to put the empty Coke cans and attendant plastic wrappers … But please sit neatly with your feet placed firmly (and only) on the floor.

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