[Via Axel Taferner/Curbed Photo Pool]
New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer can't stop, won't stop auditing, and the target of his latest salvo is none other than than the poor, embattled Metropolitan Transit Authority.
The purpose of the audit was to discern whether the MTA was fulfilling its internal policies of cleanliness and hygiene. Shockingly, the answer is a resounding no.
The report indicates that of the 276 subway stations in New York City, only three percent were cleaned in accordance with the city agency's own standards. This lapse has the potential to expose "millions of commuters to track fires, train delays and rat infestation in hundreds of stations," revelations that should come as no surprise to anybody who has ever set foot on a New York City subway.
In a survey of the MTA's finances, it was revealed that the portion of the budget spent on cleaning stations decreased from 6.3 to 5.4 percent between 2008 and 2013, despite a 34 percent growth in operating revenue. The study also found that the city's two VAK-TRAKs—those fun trains that suck up the garbage on the tracks—are used inefficiently and don't even work most of the time.
"The MTA is constantly reminding riders to clean up after themselves, but they're setting a poor example by letting piles of trash on the tracks fester for months on end," said Stringer in a press release. "Our auditors observed rats scurrying over the tracks and onto subway platforms, and it's almost as if they were walking upright—waiting to take the train to their next meal. This is a daily, stomach-turning insult to millions of straphangers, and it's unworthy of a world-class City."
In order to combat this epidemic of filth and evil, Stringer suggests that the MTA devote more funds to cleaning and maintenance, buy VAK-TRAK trains that actually work, and just be better in general.
· Audit Report on the New York City Transit Authority's Track Cleaning and Painting of the Subway Stations [official]
· Breaking News: The Subways Are Unconscionably Dirty and Barely Maintained [Animal NY]
· All MTA coverage [Curbed]