NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Riders on the Metro-North Railroad New Haven Line have seen a dramatic transformation over just a day.
Seats with caked-on dirt were finally cleaned after CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer demanded answers this week.
Commuter Stephanie Gomez first took to Facebook to protest the dirty seats she found on some of the older Metro-North New Haven Line trains from Westchester County to New York City.
“Filth, and for the most part, it’s on the headrests, and it’s just built up of grime and dirt, and it’s terrible,” Gomez said. “I don’t know what bacteria is growing there.”
CBS2 found the same conditions upon boarding the same trains Thursday.
Kramer then demanded answers on Thursday from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has taken an active role in making sure his appointees to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority toe the mark.
Kramer: “Governor, when you see these pictures of dirt-encrusted seats, what do you think? What goes through your mind?”
Cuomo: “It’s disgusting. It’s disgusting. You know me, and you know the level that I hold government performance to. And this is – it’s just disgusting.”
Kramer wondered — was it the governor’s anger, or the embarrassment of seeing the grungy dirt-encrusted seats on television on CBS2? Whatever the case, it was apparent that on Friday, crews had applied a whole lot of elbow grease and the difference was miraculous.
On Thursday, the seats for which commuters pay hundreds of dollars a month were filthy. On Friday, they were so clean that they gleamed.
Even the backs of the seats had been scrubbed.
Kramer asked the MTA why it took CBS2 demanding answers to get the cars cleaned.
“The conditions you pointed out were not acceptable and our crews worked hard overnight to do a thorough cleaning,” an MTA representative said in a statement. “We’re happy to hear there is a noticeable difference for our customers and we will work hard to maintain this improved level of cleanliness.”
The MTA said it will buy 60 new cars, and hopes within a few years to phase out the older ones – which include the ones where the dirty conditions were seen.