Newspapers, gum on the seat, and the smell of urine. This probably describes your dally public transportation ride to work or school. The subway and buses are most of the time so unsanitary that It’s unbearable. Many times when we are on the train we find ourselves switching the cart we are In, and with all hope, searching for a better one. As it turns out, we are always stuck with the same old dirt. This is a New York City phenomenon. Why should we travel to work surrounded by piles of filth daily?
I initially encountered this problem when I first started going to high school. This was the first time I had started taking the train and buses everyday by myself. It was about an hour commute to school for me every day. Every time I got on the bus or train there was something I found that was unsanitary and downright atrocious. For example, I use to take the M train at six in the morning. If you got on the last cart of that train, no matter what, it used to have the unbearable and nauseating stench of urine.
This happened so often because a lot of people that take the train overnight are homeless people; people who don’t care and would go to the restroom In the trains’ carts. Another thing that I use to see often In the train was spit or gum on the floor or seats of the bus. This occurrence was not only from an overnight experience. This was seen at all times of the day. For example, I was on the bus one time and I went to the back to sit. When I reached the back of the bus, on one of the few seats available, was a huge, nauseating blob of mucus.
I thought it was disgusting. It looked like if someone had a bad cold and Just coughed it up and spit right on the seat. However, one of the worst experiences I have ever had on the train, occurred about a year ago. Usually in the morning, I take the bus to get to school. However, on this day I decided to see how long it would take to take the train to school. It was about five thirty on a cold November morning, and I hadn’t eaten breakfast yet because it was too early. I got on the M train and took It to Myrtle Avenue and transferred to the J train.
It was a quite morning and you could tell that everyone on the train was either going to work or heading home from work, because they were dressed with button downs, ties and slacks, and the teenagers all had a book bag. Mostly everyone was sleeping, reading the newspaper, or listening to music. I was listening to music as well and was tired but refused to fall asleep. I had to pay attention to my surroundings. My morning was going alright so far. I finally get off the J train at the Sustain Boulevard stop and transfer over to the E train.
I am waiting in the train taxation and there are a couple of people. Everyone seems to be minding their own business. The train was entering the station, so everyone begins to pick up their bags and stand closer to the tracks. The train zooms by and gradually beings to slow down. I happened to be waiting towards the back of the train. As the train quickly passes by I noticed there were not much people In the train. I attributed It to the fact that It was only about SIX fifteen in the morning.
The train finally stops and I get In the second to last subway cart, noticing there are only about eight people In the cart, woo of whom happen to be homeless people. As soon as I enter the cart there was an odor Tanat relapse my senses Ana metaphorically Cackle me In ten race. It seem really bad, like some kind of sick mixture of urine, manure and garlic. I was so disturbed by the smell that I walked into the cart and was going to run out desperately to go into another cart, but the door closed right at my face. At this moment I was so upset. I tried to change carts through the door inside the subway, but it was locked.
I kept thinking, “It must be the two homeless people sleeping on he seats,” so I try to move away where all the other people were sitting. That smell wouldn’t go away. I placed my scarf over my face and started spraying a body splash I had in my bag. However, by spraying the splash I made it smell even worse. I started to feel nauseous, because my stomach was empty and the smell was making it worse. I begin to walk to the end of the cart where the homeless people are laying to see if I could try to unlock the door when I notice a brown “s” shaped figure on the floor.
I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. There were feces on the floor of the byway cart. It seemed to me that one of the homeless people that were sleeping in the cart had probably done this. At this moment, the train was finally arriving to the next station and I was ready to Jump out of the train into the safe haven of another cart. I got closer to the door and ran out and moved from that cart to the next. In the next cart it didn’t smell like anything but there was a lot of garbage and a cup of coffee that had been spilled on the floor, which made the floor sticky.
I took a seat and couldn’t believe what I had Just witnessed. I sat there and thought, “Why? Why? Did I take the train today? I should have Just taken the bus like I usually do”. I sat there thinking about the poor person that has to clean that, and thinking of how disgusting the trains in New York City could be. Then about two stops after that I got off the E train and transferred to the V in Forest Hills-71 Avenue, which I took to Wooden Boulevard and transferred to the QUO bus to get to school.
It turned out to be a very long morning and the train actually took longer that the bus would have oaken, so I decided that it would not be a good idea to take the train to school again. I believe that after having this experience I was more cautious when I took the train, and didn’t really like taking them in the morning for a very long time. I thought this experience showed a really negative side of the New York City transit system. It conveyed to me that trains and buses are not inspected often enough, and that the city doesn’t have enough people cleaning these train carts daily.
I also felt like a city like New York that has so much tourists and so much popularity should have their arrant systems in good condition so that people could come back to visit and enjoy the time they spend here. Whenever I take the train or bus, and I have something to throw out, I hold it until I exit the train. It makes no sense for us to make the space we spend a good amount of time in, a pile of filth. So the next time you are drinking coffee, eating McDonald’s, or reading a newspaper on the train or bus, hold the trash. Throw it out when you leave, because I don’t feel like being surrounded by your trash.