How Often Does the MTA Clean the Tracks in Bay Ridge’s Subway Stations?

The 77th Street Station Tracks
77th Street tracks—spotless! Photo by Hey Ridge

The MTA aims to clean the tracks in every subway station 17 times or more every year—once every three weeks—because trash causes track fires and track fires cause delays. But in practice, each station is cleaned on average fewer than 3.5 times a year, according to data compiled by WNYC. Compared against that, the Bay Ridge stations fare surprisingly well—for the most part. Last year, the most frequently cleaned was the 86th Street station, whose tracks were delittered five times. After that, it was 95th Street, at four times, and 69th Street at three. The least frequently cleaned? 77th Street, whose tracks were rid of trash only twice last year, or an average of once every 26 weeks—a heck of a lot longer than every three.

This doesn’t mean the most cleaned are the cleanest, though—it probably just means they needed the most cleaning. For example, 86th Street, that hub of transporation and commerce, last year averaged almost 12,000 riders per weekday, much more than 69th Street’s 8,300, 95th Street’s 6,000 and 77th Street’s 5,500, according to data from Newsday. (I’d guess 95th Street is cleaned more regularly than the busier 69th Street station because the former is the end of the line and therefore acquires an entire ride’s worth of garbage.)

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