Oct. 22, 2019 By Allie Griffin
Straphangers can turn a nightmare into cash by finding the dirtiest, most disgusting, trash-filled subway car and submitting a photo of it to the city’s transit workers labor union competition.
The straphanger who finds the nastiest subway of all will be $500 richer, thanks to the “Trash Trains” competition launched by Transport Workers Union Local 100 (TWU).
The union created the photo competition to bring awareness to job cuts among subway cleaners. In its latest budget plan, the Metropolitan Transit Authority plans to cut 79 cleaner positions, according to the TWU website. The jobs will be lost through attrition, not layoffs.
With less cleaners and an increasing ridership, subways are getting dirtier, according to the TWU.
The number of soiled subway cars reported this year is likely to surpass last year’s numbers.
From January through August 2019, 1,623 soiled cars were reported, while in the same time period the year prior, 1,372 were reported, according to news site The City.
The Union hopes the Trash Trains contest will help stop the job cuts.
“We have started a contest to get New Yorkers involved and to tell the MTA to reverse course,” TWU wrote on their website.
Already the competition website has a gallery of stomach-turning photos taken inside the city’s subways. Scattered garbage, food, vomit, feces, blood, needles and used condoms litter the train cars in submitted photos.
“We run a world-class operation — and New York’s transit system is second to none,” TWU wrote on the competition website. “The MTA shouldn’t skimp on hiring the staff they need to deliver clean cars to our 6.5 million daily riders.”
Straphangers can enter the contest by uploading a photo of a soiled subway car to the competition website by Nov. 30. The public will then vote for the winning entry online.
Participants must be 18 or older to enter.