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Wayward animals caused 238 subway delays in 2019

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Plus, NYCHA launches a $50M program to modernize its ventilation systems—and more intel in today’s New York Minute news roundup

A raccoon on the 1 train line near 228th Street and Broadway.
David Handschuh/Getty Images

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Diverse mix of animals spur subway delays

Raccoon, dogs, and geese are among the animals that have caused nearly 900 train delays since 2016, with at least 238 last year, according to MTA data obtained by The City. While critters crawling onto tracks and into stations only account for a small amount of the nearly 30,000 weekday delays in the subway system each month, animal interactions did rise slightly in 2019.

The MTA logged 33 incidents through mid-December. Raccoons emerged as a top subway menace with a third of those caused by the furry bandits—that was up 29 from the previous year and nearly triple the figure from 2017. Brooklyn’s Nevin Street station recently played host to a raccoon known as Chepe, who was captured and released in Prospect Park last week after much wrangling. All told, raccoons delayed 87 trains. Their subway mischief came in second only to dogs who were responsible for 107 train delays last year.

And in other news...

  • To combat mold, the New York City Housing Authority is launching a $50 million program to modernize ventilation systems in the 326 apartment complexes it oversees.
  • State officials offered Amazon $800 million more in incentives and were even willing to partially pay for some employees’ salaries if the e-commerce giant brought half of its second North American headquarters to Long Island City, documents reviewed by the Wall Street Journal show.
  • A construction company with alleged mob ties worked on a taxpayer-subsidized affordable housing development in the Bronx.
  • A developer aims to transform the parking lot beside Coney Island’s famed Gargiulo’s restaurant into a luxury apartment complex.
  • The new owner of Metro New York, Schneps Media, plans to merge the free daily newspaper with another free paper the company already owns: amNew York. The merged paper is rebranding as amNew York Metro, the New York Post reports.
  • And finally, ready for your Monday commute after the holidays? This guy isn’t.