Transport Workers Union Asking Public To Upload Pictures Of Filthy Cars, Hoping It'll Push MTA To Invest In Cleaner Trains

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There has been some trash talk from subway workers about the sad state of trains.

The Transport Workers Union Local 100 is holding a contest for the photo capturing the train car with the most litter. It’s all to make a point about cutbacks, CBS2’s Christina Fan reported Monday.

It’s not just Metropolitan Transportation Authority subway riders that are tired of dirty subways.

“I’ll tell you the grossest thing I’ve seen on subways is definitely human feces,” one rider said.

(Photo: TWU Local 100)

“I’ve seen rats. I’ve seen old garbage. I’ve seen all types of stuff in the subway,” another rider said.

Workers are so fed up they took out a full page ad in the newspaper, offering $500 in a trash train photo contest. The union is asking for your dirtiest, nastiest, and filthiest pictures, hoping it’ll push the MTA chairman to act.

“They are hollowing out what they want to pay workers, the amount of full-time jobs there are and that makes our subways dirtier,” said rider John Golbe of Prospect Heights.

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The union claims the increase in dirty cars is the result of cleaning crews getting axed by the MTA, adding nearly 100 cleaner jobs have been eliminated in the last two years. The cuts mean some trains do not get cleaned at all overnight, while others only get cleaned on one end of the line.

“Since they are not listening to the union, maybe they will hear from the riding public. The riding public should not be subjected to ride trains in these conditions,” TWU Local 100 Administrative Vice President Nelson Rodriguez said.

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The MTA declined to comment on camera about the newspaper ad campaign, but did push back against the union’s claims, telling CBS2, “All 591 MTA subway trains in service every day — more than 5,000 train cars — are routinely cleaned multiple times throughout the day.”

Riders told Fan it’s clearly not enough, but even so some are doubtful the union’s tactic will work.

“I mean, I honestly think it makes kind of a mockery of the situation,” said Marc Sabeg of Washington Heights.

“I don’t think we should be sending in photos to get this cleaned up in the first place,” another rider said.

To win, all you have to do is go to and upload your photo. Riders can then vote online to select a winner. The deadline to upload is Nov. 30.

The union said you can submit as many photos as you’d like.


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