According to internal reports from the Metropolitan Transit Authority, the New York subway system saw an increase in dirty cars last month after really rough journeys declined for five months overall.
The New York Post reports that there were 132 “single incidents of dirty car interiors” in May 2021, up from 118 in May 2020 when high levels of COVID drove down passenger numbers in New York City.
It includes 27 reports of trains covered in feces, 26 trains with vomit inside, 21 soaked with urine, and six cars with blood, according to MTA records.
Of course, there were fewer people on the subway in 2020, but when New Yorkers and tourists return, there will likely be turbulence on the trains as people adjust to the daily commute.
In the past month, polluted cars resulted in more than 25 hours of delays, according to internal documents.
Beyond human waste, cars and “Covid-19 cleaning quantities” for the pulled trains were devastated. At least 19 of the 132 reports on cars also mentioned “either homeless or unruly subway drivers,” according to the Post.
One train had needles strewn on the floor while another had an obvious bed bug infestation.
The workers recorded a total of 1,090 contaminated cars in 2021 by June 14, the MTA said.
New York saw a sharp spike in homelessness during its exacerbated pandemic year, and the reality that many without shelter face continues as the city re-forms around them. A symptom of this wave is the increased presence of people without accommodation in the subway, which offers shelter for many.
The “unruly” behavior is also worrying, according to a statement by MTA spokesman Andrei Berman, and something that needs to be addressed.
“Such incidents are unfortunate. They are unsanitary to our customers and deeply unfair and disruptive to cleaners, ”he said. “They are also a reminder that more mental health and social service support is needed in the city and throughout the system.”