Bill Would Mandate MTA Reporting Of Bedbug Incidents Within 24 Hours
The legislation, which is being introduced by Assemblyman William Colton and City Councilman Mark Treyger, calls for the use of social media to get the word out to straphangers.
“It is our position that the MTA has an obligation to inform the public immediately when there are confirmed cases of bedbugs and they are to notify the public what steps they’re taking to remedy the infestation,” Treyger told 1010 WINS.
The proposal is intended to protect public health and prevent the spread of bedbugs, which would have “enormous economic consequences for working families across the city,” Treyger told reporters, including WCBS 880′s Monica Miller.
The MTA issued statement, saying it has not found evidence of a group or colony of bedbugs on any subway trains.
“More than 5.8 million people ride 8,000 subway trains on an average weekday, but the MTA has found no bedbug infestations on any trains,” the agency said.
Adam Lisberg, the head spokesman for the MTA, told 1010 WINS the agency has found and treated 16 cars on only eight trains this year.
When the insects are discovered the agency responds by “immediately taking the train out of service, inspecting it for any signs of bedbugs and fully treating the train car,” the MTA said.
The MTA will be working with an outside expert to go over their bedbug plan and make sure they’re doing all they can to protect employees and customers.
“We are going to be bringing in an outside expert to who can tell us is there anything that we’re not doing that we should be doing,” Lisberg said. “The city Department of Health tells us that we are doing absolutely the right thing in addressing this, and they’re the real experts, but we’re going to be bringing in an outside expert just to take another look and recommend could there be anything else that we should be doing.”
Bedbugs have been found on at least five subway trains this month alone.
A Coney Island-bound N Train was taken out of service and fumigated after a conductor reported being bitten on the train Monday afternoon, the MTA said.
On Aug. 9, a transit union official told the Daily News that a No. 5 train was taken out of service after a rider saw a bedbug fall off a homeless man.
Earlier this month, the MTA confirmed that three separate N trains were taken out of service after bedbugs were found on board. The critters were found in the seat cushions of the train cabs, where motormen and conductors sit.
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