MTA is paying outside contractors $9.5M to deep clean subway cars and stations

January 28, 2019

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is paying outside contractors $9.5 million to clean 3,000 subway cars and 100 stations, the Daily News reported last week. While the transit agency currently employs thousands of station cleaners, the MTA is contracting the dirty job out because the cleaning, as an MTA spokesperson told the News, is a “level of work that our maintenance employees do not perform.”

The deep clean falls under the agency’s emergency $836 million “Subway Action Plan” released in July 2017. Key solutions to fix the beleaguered subway system in the plan include removing seats, repairing signals, adding countdown clocks, and refurbishing 1,100 more train cars per year.

Tony Utano, the president of TWU Local 100, which represents NYC transit workers, told the News that hiring contractors is a waste of money. “Our cleaners are capable of doing this work,” Utano said. “We have mobile wash units on hand that know how to do this kind of ‘deep cleaning.'”

The union and the transit authority have reached an agreement which allows two MTA station cleaners to be assigned at each site cleaning, as a way for the union cleaners to learn the new techniques.

“Ultimately, this is their work,” Byford told NY1. “We’re not taking that work away. What we’re doing is embracing or harnessing the skills and the methodologies and the products that private contractors can bring.”

The MTA program pays $95,040 for a one-time cleaning of a large station, $63,360 for a mid-size station, and $31,680 for small stations, according to the News.

[Via NY Daily News]


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