Subways in New York being disgusting is just a fact of life. People piss in them, as if they are public latrines. Rats roam free, lugging pizza and pestilence. Whatever the weather, certain stations smell like hot garbage. And somehow people nonetheless bring stinky take-out into the cars, making others marvel at how you can eat fish stew while stewing in a stench-ridden train. And yet, it turns out they are the lucky ones. At least there’s not “leaking” human corpses in their lunch room.
Ever wonder what the MTA does with the bodies of people who die on their tracks? According to the New York Post, “people killed by subway trains are often brought to employee lunch rooms and other break areas inside stations.”
Say it with me:
An understandably irate union rep was the whistleblower, explaining that to get service up and running ASAP, the MTA carts corpses off to “whatever room happens to be nearest.”
Sometimes this means a lunch room for MTA workers. Sometimes it means a restroom. And no, the workers don’t get a warning. In the linked article, one unfortunate employee walked into the bathroom and in on NYPD Emergency services bagging a body. And it turns out that maybe shoving such duties to whatever available room might make for a less than thorough job. When she returned to try again later, she discovered “hair and scalp and basically body parts in the sink.”
An MTA spokesperson is defending this apparently long history of sloppy body disposal because hey, those trains got to run. And I’m sure some callous New Yorkers will shrug this off to shave a few minutes off their commute. But MTA workers put up with enough bullshit from irate straphangers, befuddled tourists, and wily rats. They don’t deserve to have their lunch break thwarted by a train-shattered corpse. Their union is pushing back on this, calling on the mayor to join them. But considering overcrowding, derailments, broken down trains, and massive delays have made this the “summer of hell” for straphangers, Mayor Bill de Blasio is unlikely to say anything that might make commuters any angrier.