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Swarming beneath the surface of the great US metropolis are some 28 million – and counting – rats, who many say have become increasingly aggressive as they roam throughout the NYC subway system. NBC New York reports that the rat epidemic is full blown at scores of stations, threatening the safety of not just the subway workers, but the riders as well.

Many New Yorkers blame the city’s budget cuts, which resulted in less pest control workers and the reduction of trash removal. Trash collection occurred “every couple of days,” says 12 year veteran subway station agent Paul Flores. “Now it’s four or five days before they pick up the garbage, and the rats just basically call that home.” Flores refers to revolting state of many of the subway network’ s refuse rooms where dumpsters are stored. “It’s the same thing all over,” Flores adds. “Less trash pickups, the cans fill to the top and rats just eat off that.”

And while the subways are place of work for many, and a daily thoroughfare for even more, they are the permanent residences of these emboldened vermin. Refuse rooms, in particular are prime real estate for NYC rats. To illustrate the vile situation, health dept research scientist Robert Corrigan revealed that upwards of 12 rats can live in a single cinder block – and in each and every cinder block – which means up to 150 rats can live within the walls of just one refuse room.

With stats like that, it’s no surprise rat sightings are a regular occurrence for subway dwellers. It’s also a concern for the unfortunate subway workers whose break rooms sit next to the garbage quarters.

“I’ve seen them on the platform,” Janet Siovasoto, told NBC NY as she waited for her train at 53rd and Broadway. “A few mornings this week, I stood right there and watched the rats go inside the trash room.  It’s really disgusting and they need to do something about it.”

Concerned citizens have publicized amateur documentation of the vermin invasion underground (as seen above) including a rat that crawled up a sleeping man’s leg and another that scurried across a subway car, causing mayhem amongst riders. Countless riders claimed it’s commonplace to see rats crawling under subway seats.

As the disease-ridden pests continue to proliferate, city officials and transit workers are at odds with reaching a timely solution. Prepared to formally address their concerns to the MTA, the subway workers union demonstrated outside of the Jamaica Central Terminal on Wednesday as part of their New Yorkers Deserve a Rat-Free Subway campaign encouraging riders to sign their online petition which asks, “If You Smell Something, Sign Something.”

The MTA appears less emphatic, claiming that any phased-out cleaning jobs involved subway cars, not stations. In an official statement, the MTA asserted, “We are working with the city in an effort to find more effective ways of addressing the rodent problem,” which will allegedly include upping the ante on their baiting efforts. In a city where rats already outnumber human beings by 3 to 1, those measures represent just the tip of the iceberg.

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  • CaramelBeauty

    For all the money they charge you to live in that city, it should be spotless!! People who live there need their heads examined.

  • arlette

    i am soooo scared of rats, so scared that i cant even look at images of them without feeling sick. i have a deadly fear of them. london is full of them, well so i’ve heard but luckly have never seen one especially not as big as the ones above.

  • hehe

    I Hate RATS! but living in NYC they’re inevitable. Although it’s inevitable that you’ll see rats , NYC subway system is still the most efficient transportation system in the country.

  • RenJennM

    Am I really the only one who cracked up laughing when that rat jumped on that man’s leg? LMAO! I kept rewinding it! lol I mean as scary as that would be if that happened to me — I’d be scarred for YEARS from just the memory of it — it just made me laugh at that man’s reaction. lol Sorry, I couldn’t help it!

    Anyway, I travel to NY quite a bit, and yeah, you can hear them running around on the tracks. Once, one ran up onto the platform and I nearly had a heart attack! New Yorkers must be used to it because everybody looked at me like it was no big deal. On top of that, I believe them when it comes to that whole trash situation. Every time I’m there, the cans on the street are filled to the top or overflowing. They really need to get that situation under control. I mean, T.I. called them out about it in the movie ATL for goodness sakes! lol

  • D-Chubb


    NYers are not crazy. We’re just tougher than you. LOL.

    • SpecialK

      Cosign! I wouldn’t give up being a New Yorker for anything!

    • Liz

      Please let them know! Rats and all..we still manage to be the best city on the face of the planet.