by Kristen S '11

Gross Subway Cars

Almost everyday, more than half of BSGE’s students take public transportation, whether it be the bus or train (at times both), to and from school.  By it becoming a part of our daily routine, we at times neglect the filth that we are riding in.  Yet, when a person is asked how dirty the subways are, a look of disgust comes across their face.  Many people take such precautions as to not touching the bar to help hold them up during the ride.  In reality, we take a lot of these things to extremes, whereas we ignore the bacteria that live in the sponges we use to clean our kitchens.  Actually, the subway cars are slowly but surely advancing when it comes to its cleanliness, with attempts from not only the MTA but also America’s people to put a stop to the griminess of the subway cars.  “Subway cars became cleaner, going from 79% in the second half of 2005 to 87% in this report.   We found that: eighteen lines improved (1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, A, B, D, E, F, G, J/Z, L, N, Q, R and V), two worsened (2, C) and two stayed the same (M and W)” ( 1).

With the cars continuously improving, we have sight of a possible future that may hold much more sanitary cars for us to ride.  Yet, there are still many germs that exist amongst the cars that we ride.  “The drug-resistant superbug MRSA was detected in 11% of the samples taken aboard a New York City subway train by a University of Arizona researcher. That compares to just 6% of the samples in public rest rooms” ( 1). Every time you grab a pole on the subway, we are still picking up “…the entire flora of humanity that has passed this way, including feces, fecal flora, skin flora, and respiratory secretions” (  Although it is unavoidable, there are still ways of helping yourself keep clean rather than just allowing yourself to be so susceptible to the germs. We are still urged to take proper precautions, such as washing our hands or carrying hand sanitizer with you to use after you leave the subway car.  Also, try to prevent if at all possible eating in the subway cars, because it is much easier to transfer germs from one place to another.

It is not only a one way street when it comes to trying to improve our subways.  We as commuters should try to be more respectful of our environment.  If every subway rider cut down on littering and defacing of public property, the subways would be much more enjoyable to ride.

By Mr. Lakhaney

TOK Teacher

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