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MTA Data Shows Increase In Reports Of Soiled Subway Cars

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- According to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, reports of soiled subway cars are on the rise and that's leading to dirty delays for commuters.

Heaps of filthy garbage, pizza boxes, you name it -- commuters have seen it all.

"Coffee cups, soda bottles, things that have no business being on the-- water bottles," Amos Machanic, of the Upper West Side, told CBS2's Reena Roy.

"Sometimes there are drinks that have spilled and it's sticky and it's sticking on your feet," one woman said.

Trash on trains is nothing new, but MTA data now shows reports of soiled subway cars are up.

There have already been 1,623 complaints through August of this year. Looking at the past two years, there were 2,058 complaints in 2018 and 1,504 in 2017.

"It is a little bit out of control, just, it's nasty just to sit down on it, and then also the delays it's causing, not good," Machanic said.

RELATED STORY: Video Of Disgusting, Trash-Strewn Subway Car Goes Viral

It's not only unpleasant, but inconvenient. A dirty car can mean delays.

The MTA says an entire train can be taken out of service during rush hour and sent to a yard for cleaning depending on the severity.

"It's unfortunate. We don't need anything that causes even more more delays," commuter Hillary Ellner said.

The agency says the garbage has caused only about 1% of delays over the past year and a half, also claiming the increase in complaints comes from more people making reports.

The Transport Workers Union, however, says a big part of the problem is a lack of manpower, saying there's simply not enough staff to keep things as clean as they should be.

Nelson Rivera, TWU vice president, says there are fewer car cleaners after recent budget cuts.

"They need to rehire and bring our numbers back to the budget that we had two or three years ago," he said.

But the MTA stands by its current protocol and would not answer CBS2's questions about hiring more cleaners, leaving commuters shaking their heads at the state of the subway system yet again.

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