Governor Andrew M. Cuomo unveiled recently the “Keep It Clean” initiative to discourage metro littering, a significant underlying cause of flooding, fires and extensive delays in the metro system. Governor Cuomo also directed the Department of Environmental Conservation to double the penalty for litter in the metro system from USD 50 to USD 100.
“Littering is not only illegal but dangerous and directly causes hundreds of thousands of delays, inconveniencing millions of New Yorkers. This initiative will help stop littering-related delays at the source, improving reliability and helping the MTA deliver the metro service that New Yorkers deserve,” Governor Cuomo said.
The MTA will run a public awareness campaign to inform riders of the impact on public safety due to littering. Litter severely impairs the system’s ability to handle the millions of gallons of water pumped out of the system every day. Littering contributes to 700 fire-related incidents on the tracks every year. Additionally, in the last six months, incidents directly due to standing water conditions increased by 56 percent compared to the same period last year.
The “Keep It Clean” initiative supports the MTA’s water management and debris removal work previously announced in the Emergency Plan. To increase system reliability, the MTA is performing preventative water and trash removal between stations, eliminating dirt and trash accumulated from over a century of the system’s operation.