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Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

New York Gov. Cuomo launches initiative to curb subway littering

Cuomo examines litter on tracks at the Union Square subway station.
Photo – Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo


New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo yesterday unveiled a "Keep It Clean" initiative aimed at discouraging subway littering in New York City.

The campaign features a new public service announcement that warns riders about the dangers of leaving trash on the system. The ad also notes that passengers who litter will receive $100 fines.

As part of the initiative, Cuomo directed the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to double the penalty for litter in the subway system from to $50 to $100.

Litter on the subway system is a "significant underlying cause" of flooding, fires and extensive delays, according to a press release issued by Cuomo's office. What's more, littering continues to contribute to 700 fire-related incidents on tracks each year.

In addition, litter impairs the subway system's ability to handle the millions of gallons of water pumped out each day. In the past six months, incidents resulting from standing water conditions increased 56 percent compared with the same period last year.

"Littering is not only illegal but dangerous and directly causes hundreds of thousands of delays, inconveniencing millions of New Yorkers," Cuomo said. "This initiative will help stop littering-related delays at the source, improving reliability and helping the MTA deliver the subway service that New Yorkers deserve.

Cuomo's new initiative will support the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (MTA) ongoing water management and debris removal efforts. To increase system reliability, the agency is performing preventive water and trash removal between stations, helping eliminate dirt and trash that has accumulated over a century.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/8/2017