Despite the uptick in subway track fires caused by litter, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in New York plans to remove its overnight cleaners in subway stations. Overnight cleaners have already been removed from R line stations on the 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. shift, and overnight cleaners will be removed on five more lines in January and every subway station by mid-2018.
This action is due in part to wage increase that will go into effect in 2018. With the labor cuts, the MTA will save approximately $1.44 million in salaries per year.
New York Post has more information:
The MTA plans to do away with overnight cleaners in subway stations across the city — even as trash-fueled track fires wreak havoc on the system, sources told The Post.
Overnight cleaners have already been removed from R line stations on the 9 p.m.-5 a.m. shift, and the MTA plans to get rid of the late-night workers on five more lines in January and the entire system by mid-2018, the sources said.
“If the stations are not cleaned, that litter and debris is going to go on the track bed, which could cause fires and delay trains,” warned Andrew Albert, an MTA board member who heads the New York City Transit Riders Council.