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Are subway rats running amok?

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Are subway rats running amok?

By Matthew Sweeney

amNewYork Staff Writer

August 14, 2008

 

41604124.jpg

Emily Anne Epstein

A rat scurries across the subway tracks at 72nd St. on the 1 2 3 line in Manhattan on Tuesday, August 12, 2008. Riders have been complaining that the rats have been climbing onto the platforms.

 

Subways fares aren't the only thing soaring these days. The subway's rat pack is increasingly taking platforms by storm.

 

"People have seen them sitting on benches," said Andrew Albert, an MTA board member and chair of the NYC Transit Riders Council, of the underground rodent problem. "From what riders have told us, they appear to be getting bolder.

 

Joel Sklar, a vice president at Assured Environments, one of the city's oldest and largest pest control companies, said he believes the subway rats have gotten more brazen for many reasons, including increased interaction with people.

 

"Next thing you know the doors are going to open and one is going to come on the train with us," said Sklar, who commutes by subway to Lower Manhattan. "If it happened would it shock me? No."

 

Estimates of the city's total rat population can swing wildly from 2 million to 100 million, but what seems certain is that straphangers are seeing more platform rats.

 

"They chase me to work," said straphanger Yvonne Ouchikh, 40, who described seeing rats on the platforms at the 103rd Street B and C station time and again over the past month.

 

The increase in above and below ground construction, a spike in subway ridership that results in more litter, water leaks, and the rats' breeding cycle all contribute to the rise in sightings, transit officials and pest control experts said.

 

While NYC Transit officials would not comment on whether there has been an increase in the underground rat population, they said that technicians drop bait onto the tracks about once a month throughout the system. A transit spokesman also said that the agency budget for addressing the problem has remained steady in recent years, though he could not provide figures.

 

"They can get a handle on it but they need to address it because it's a health problem," Albert said.

 

Straphangers ticked off a number of stations where platform sightings of rodents have become commonplace. They include Chambers Street on the A, Spring Street on the C, West 4th Street, Jay Street-Borough Hall, and various 34th Street stops. Albert also said he spots them at Upper West Side stations, where they may have scurried to find refuge after their nests near above ground construction sites were disturbed.

 

While most subway riders were frustrated or squeamish over the rodents, Joyce Gonzalez of the Bronx found herself almost warming up to the critters. Gonzalez, 52, said she spent some time last week watching a mother rat tend to her young at Brooklyn's Hoyt Street 2/3 station.

 

"The mother was over by the garbage can," she said, pointing down the platform. "I think she was trying to get the babies some food. They were down on the tracks, three of them, little ones."

 

"We need that little pipe that you blow and take them all to the river," she said.

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They should have a day where the whole system is closed down, double up on busses, triple where possible, and sanitize the whole system from north to south and east to west at the same time.

 

- Andy

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They should have a day where the whole system is closed down, double up on busses, triple where possible, and sanitize the whole system from north to south and east to west at the same time.

 

- Andy

 

There aren't enough buses to go around. LIRR and MN would have to issue special tickets for travel within the city.

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They should have a day where the whole system is closed down, double up on busses, triple where possible, and sanitize the whole system from north to south and east to west at the same time.

 

- Andy

The rats are too smart, once they see their friend rats dieing from eating the bait they won't eat it. These animals are not stupid its impossable to kill them all out the subway.

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"Next thing you know the doors are going to open and one is going to come on the train with us." Already done... where was that video of the dead rat in between the doors?

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I have noticed the rats getting more brazen. I see them on the platfroms all the time and a women screaming in the backround. I see this so much I learned to tune it out. I have noticed like at Nostrand Ave (C) Platfrom the rat problem is still bad and even the regulars that get on at the station have changed thier habits. I notice lots wait on the stair case more then they use to. Another bad place now is 181 St (A) Line some people just run off the train.

I don't know what can be done its seems like the Rats got use to our human tricks on getting rid of them.

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The rats are too smart, once they see their friend rats dieing from eating the bait they won't eat it. These animals are not stupid its impossable to kill them all out the subway.

 

Not even bait, just fumigate!

 

- Andy

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Hmmm.....I haven't noticed the rats lately. Well, I haven't been around much lately or ride the subway alot lately either. I think I'll pass then if thats the case.

 

They should have a day where the whole system is closed down, double up on busses, triple where possible, and sanitize the whole system from north to south and east to west at the same time.

 

- Andy

Ain't happening, keep dreaming buddy.

 

They should've taken advantage when the subway strike happened.....

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This problem is getting worse and worse by the day. I remember one afternoon last year when I was at 125 Street on the (A) (:P(C)(D) and I was on the SB Platform. As I was waiting for the train, a rat got near by me and I ran in circles in order to get away from it. :eek::eek::eek::eek::eek:

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I probably aren't among the majority here, but I have to say that the rats can actually be quite entertaining while awaiting a late night train to arrive.

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This problem is getting worse and worse by the day. I remember one afternoon last year when I was at 125 Street on the (A) (:P(C)(D) and I was on the SB Platform. As I was waiting for the train, a rat got near by me and I ran in circles in order to get away from it. :eek::eek::eek::eek::eek:

 

 

I wish I were there with a video camera to record you running and screaming.....

 

I have noticed the rats getting more brazen. I see them on the platfroms all the time and a women screaming in the backround. I see this so much I learned to tune it out. I have noticed like at Nostrand Ave (C) Platfrom the rat problem is still bad and even the regulars that get on at the station have changed thier habits. I notice lots wait on the stair case more then they use to. Another bad place now is 181 St (A) Line some people just run off the train.

I don't know what can be done its seems like the Rats got use to our human tricks on getting rid of them.

 

Hopefully the rats become smart enough, to chase the people back up the stairs. Empty train for me.....

 

The rats are too smart, once they see their friend rats dieing from eating the bait they won't eat it.

 

I wonder if some humans are that smart. Oh wait no is the answer......

 

I probably aren't among the majority here, but I have to say that the rats can actually be quite entertaining while awaiting a late night train to arrive.

 

I seen a few at 34st, running under the rails and wooden ties. One stopped, looked at me, and started singing "somewhere out there", and said it sings for a living.....I caught a picture of it.......

 

AnAmericanTailPoster.jpg

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I probably aren't among the majority here, but I have to say that the rats can actually be quite entertaining while awaiting a late night train to arrive.

 

As a former owner of 2 domesticated rats (ones that are safe to have as pets) i gotta say i dont find them that horrible. I've seen mice down there too in the track area and 2 of them were in nyp in the amtrak/njt waiting area. If one looks nasty & gets too close i will nudge it into the track pit, however i do have a great fondness for all living things, so it would be lovingly gentle as to not cause it harm and keep it from sickos who'd kill it on site (yes i've seen people do it). I do think at the same time the rat problem we started with our trade ships needs to be fixed before the next plague decides to pop its ugly head out.

 

- Andy

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Waiting to go to Grand Central, I saw a rat coming waddling out from under the platform. It slowly stuck it's head out to the middle of the track bed and began drinking the scudsy brown water there. Maybe the have the cure for disease? They are highly adaptive and incredibly verstaile. The can jump like cats and then some. I gues it'd be impossible to rid the system of them, but keeping them off the platforms would be a positive thing to do.(F)(R)(A)(N)(K)

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I wish I were there with a video camera to record you running and screaming.....

 

 

 

Hopefully the rats become smart enough, to chase the people back up the stairs. Empty train for me.....

 

 

 

I wonder if some humans are that smart. Oh wait no is the answer......

 

 

 

I seen a few at 34st, running under the rails and wooden ties. One stopped, looked at me, and started singing "somewhere out there", and said it sings for a living.....I caught a picture of it.......

 

AnAmericanTailPoster.jpg

 

Lawlz!

 

As a former owner of 2 domesticated rats (ones that are safe to have as pets) i gotta say i dont find them that horrible. I've seen mice down there too in the track area and 2 of them were in nyp in the amtrak/njt waiting area. If one looks nasty & gets too close i will nudge it into the track pit, however i do have a great fondness for all living things, so it would be lovingly gentle as to not cause it harm and keep it from sickos who'd kill it on site (yes i've seen people do it). I do think at the same time the rat problem we started with our trade ships needs to be fixed before the next plague decides to pop its ugly head out.

 

- Andy

 

Even a gentle nudge onto the tracks might hurt it from the fall. Especially if it lands on its back... but whatever. You're right. Just don't nudge it right when a train is coming, otherwise that train is having rat for dinner tonight.

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Lawlz!

 

 

 

Even a gentle nudge onto the tracks might hurt it from the fall. Especially if it lands on its back... but whatever. You're right. Just don't nudge it right when a train is coming, otherwise that train is having rat for dinner tonight.

 

Only if it looks weird. I live in a "woodsy" area and i can tell when animals aren't "right". If it's a healthy looking one i wouldn't bother it, just ignore it. If there was a train there i'd stand in the way so people comin off didn't step on it etc.

 

- Andy

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I wish I were there with a video camera to record you running and screaming.....

 

Hopefully the rats become smart enough, to chase the people back up the stairs. Empty train for me.....

 

I wonder if some humans are that smart. Oh wait no is the answer......

 

I seen a few at 34st, running under the rails and wooden ties. One stopped, looked at me, and started singing "somewhere out there", and said it sings for a living.....I caught a picture of it.......

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
They should have a day where the whole system is closed down, double up on busses, triple where possible, and sanitize the whole system from north to south and east to west at the same time.

 

- Andy

I wish for something like this, I called it transit day, where MTA takes out all available buses and trains!

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Someone here at LACMTA estimated it would take shutting down the entire NYC subways and cleaning 24 hours a day for almost 20 years to get rid of the brake dust and rats.

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Someone here at LACMTA estimated it would take shutting down the entire NYC subways and cleaning 24 hours a day for almost 20 years to get rid of the brake dust and rats.

 

I dunno, i think with modern technologies & some planning it'd take 5 years. Just shut one line down at a time & add triple busses, but i dont think they'd have enough busses unless they cannibalized LIB during peak hours.

 

- Andy

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I seen a few at 34st, running under the rails and wooden ties. One stopped, looked at me, and started singing "somewhere out there", and said it sings for a living.....I caught a picture of it.......

 

AnAmericanTailPoster.jpg

 

LOL..... We need some subway worker mice!!

 

 

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I have noticed the rats getting more brazen. I see them on the platfroms all the time and a women screaming in the backround. I see this so much I learned to tune it out. I have noticed like at Nostrand Ave (C) Platfrom the rat problem is still bad and even the regulars that get on at the station have changed thier habits. I notice lots wait on the stair case more then they use to. Another bad place now is 181 St (A) Line some people just run off the train.

I don't know what can be done its seems like the Rats got use to our human tricks on getting rid of them.

 

It was on channel 5 news the other day they said that the rats arent intimidated by humans anymore. It's funny as hell at 145th they hang out on the platform and they have made their way into the bathroom by the dispatcher office there I have to literally sing to keep them from coming near me when I am taking a leak lol.

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Now, we should find some way to broadcast this to the rats with a message.

 

"You get on our trains, and you'll end up like this fella right here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFJ-tzRruIU

Don't get on the trains.

We're serious about safety. Your safety."

 

Dude you gotta do something with photoshop and make like the lil flyer of that I would definetly die laughing.

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Dude you gotta do something with photoshop and make like the lil flyer of that I would definetly die laughing.

scotcdpxu5.jpg

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