The metro has become a shelter for the filthy and deadly homeless on rails, according to disgusted transport workers who set out to record and photograph the horrible conditions.
A video shot earlier this month shows cars of homeless men and women lying and sleeping on an E train. In another filmed on Thursday, a man blows a cigarette while standing on an E. car. – shelter was photographed sitting in a train 2 in the middle of the afternoon Wednesday next to an overflowing grocery cart and plastic bags.
And in a video, a man uses the space between cars on a train 2 as a toilet while stopped at a Brooklyn station.
“It’s absolutely disgusting, man,” said the shocked MTA worker who saw it in a video. “With coronavirus, it’s disgusting. “
Workers say public transit systems have never been so dirty or more crowded with the homeless, as ridership has declined with restrictions on staying at home for everyone except essential workers.
The images of “essential workers” of an MTA employee posted on a Facebook page were passed out passengers.
“Thank you, MTA. I have to deal with the homeless, mental illness and now the prison guys. Every night f – king there is a problem of mother f – king. … While our trains are not cleaning. I have to wipe my own cabin and air it out. It’s for birds, “the worker wrote.
Train operator Tracey Jackson took a picture of a metal trash can, with a bag inside, that someone dragged from the platform of Atlantic Avenue on April 7 and placed on their train. Chicken bones and empty pizza boxes were scattered across the floor of the car.
“It reminds me of the 80s at this point,” she said of the conditions of the transit system.
The passengers are also outraged.
A 54-year-old resident of Middle Village Queens said she was scheduled to travel to Manhattan this week for a meeting and was shocked by an 8 am train filled with smelly and sprawling homeless people.
“I can bear a lot. I’m a cleaning lady – germs don’t bother me. I’m not too easily extrapolated, but it was just amazing to see all these people, “she said.
The woman, who was wearing a mask, said she feared for her own health by crossing five or six cars before finding one where she felt she could breathe. She said that the homeless passengers were not wearing masks.
” It is not fair. It’s not fair for people who have to go to work. It’s not fair to the homeless, ”she said. “Something has to be done. This mayor we have is completely out of touch with what is going on. “
Friday, 84 MTA workers died from COVID-19. Workers must wear two N95 masks throughout the week, the agency said.
Canella Gomez, a train operator on leave and union activist, said he had never seen the plight of the homeless. He suspected that many could be ill with COVID-19.
“I get the impression that the city is using the metro system as containment for the homeless. You have to assume that many of them have it. If they shut down the system, what would they do with all of these potentially infected homeless people? ” He asked.
An MTA maintenance worker who took videos earlier this month at Jamaica Center E station called it “the capital of the MTA coronaviruses.”
Homeless people tend to favor the line because it never goes outside along its route to the World Trade Center.
The worker, who works a night shift, said the trains are cleaned and disinfected when they are finished.
“The horror begins when it is revealed to the public,” he said. “The minute he arrives at the station, you have the 100 homeless people hanging around there. This is where they live. They enter there. They go to sleep. They use the bathroom. They vomit. Everything you can imagine is done. “
MTA chief Adrienne Blocker, 28, said the issue of homelessness was no longer limited to after dark.
“We see it all day now,” said Blocker. “Now they are there 24 hours. “
A frustrated Blocker posted photos she had taken of zombie riders on Facebook saying, “The MTA is basically a mobile hotel for the homeless right now! “
Blocker told The Post that as soon as the trains were cleaned, they got dirty immediately.
“Besides the hygiene issues, we don’t really know what they have. They are obviously not tested, ”said Blocker.
“They are coughing. They pee. They defecate in cars. We do not know if they have COVID-19. They are in front of us every day as well as the other people who take the trains to work every day. “
Sarah Feinberg, acting president of the MTA, said this week that the agency was also fed up and the city needed to do more.
“It’s very frustrating to have this problem on our knees,” Feinberg told the Post on Friday.
She said that the MTA had hired more than 150 private security personnel in the past week to enforce the rules or report the problems to the city, and that there would be more car cleaning.
“We are intensifying law enforcement activities and these efforts now,” said Feinberg.
Feinberg said mayor Bill de Blasio had not responded to requests to meet with her to discuss problems with the system, including the one made after she was appointed as the transit official in late February.
De Blasio insisted this week that “the NYPD has been there in force to try to resolve this problem permanently”.
“If she loses patience, I don’t know why she didn’t call me,” said the mayor.
City Councilor Robert Holden and three other city councilors called on Governor Andrew Cuomo to temporarily shut down the metro system to help stop transmission of coronaviruses, saying city and state could find other ways to transport workers essentials.
“If one picture comes close to the pending apocalypse, there are hundreds of destitute and homeless souls crammed and laid in countless train cars,” said Holden.
The city councilor encourages runners to photograph the shameful conditions to show of Blasio. “He’s in denial because he’s not going there. He doesn’t know what’s going on, ”said Holden.
“All New Yorkers must become modern day Jacob Riis to tell and hopefully embarrass the mayor and the governor who seemingly accepted this untenable reality,” said Holden, referring to the buccaneer and urban reformer of beginning of the century.
Cuomo rejected any closure, saying the metro system was necessary to move all front-line workers to their jobs.