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Ride The Rails For Free With Best Rat Pic

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A picture submitted to RatFreeSubways.com of a rat at Grand Central Station. (credit: RatFreeSubways.com)

A picture submitted to RatFreeSubways.com of a rat at Grand Central Station. (credit: RatFreeSubways.com)

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NYC Is A Strange Place

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – We see them scurrying around the subway on the tracks and sometimes even on the trains. Rats have become almost a New York City icon, but now a new campaign is hoping your rat pics will help rid the subway of the furry creatures once and for all.

RatFreeSubways.com is a website created by the Transport Workers Union Local 100 as part of their “New Yorkers Deserve A Rat Free Subway” petition.

Last week, the TWU launched a contest offering a free monthly subway pass for the best rat picture. Straphangers can upload their pictures in the Rate My Rat section of the site where users can then vote for their favorite vile vermin.

What are the official contest rules? Well according to their website:

1. This contest is only open to “the 99%.” If your income is more than a million dollars a year, you don’t use the subways, so you’re not on this website anyway.

2. Uploading photos of “Ben” or “Socrates” from the movie classic “Willard” is not allowed as those images are protected by copyright.

3. Photos taken by mutant rats in the system who know how to use a cellphone are encouraged.

4. Employees of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority are encouraged to submit photos of the rats they encounter on a daily basis. The ones with four legs, that is.

TWU Local 100 has been fighting for more workers in the subway system since last fall when they officially unveiled the  “New Yorkers Deserve A Rat Free Subway” campaign demanding the MTA do something about the growing population of rats living in the subway system.

The union’s head of stations, Maurice Jenkins, said the rat problem has become a public health hazard.

“We’re talking hundreds of rats, it’s so bad that when it quiets down at night they come out on the platform,” Jenkins said in September.”“Your fare includes buses and trains, you shouldn’t get no pets.”

There have been several high-profile rat incidents recently including a woman bitten by a rat as she waited for a J train in Brooklyn and a sleeping rider was videotaped with a rat climbing up his leg on the Number 4 train.

RatFreeSubways.com also has an online petition as well as additional information about the campaign. You can also submit your “Rat Tale” about an experience you’ve had with rats in the subway.

Fore more information, visit ratfreesubways.com.

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