MTA Press Releases

Press Release
September 12, 2016
IMMEDIATE
MTA Launches Phase 2 of Operation Track Sweep: A Two-Week Track Cleaning Blitz
Big Clean Up at all 469 Subway Stations is Latest Phase in Sustained Campaign to Keep Subway Tracks Clean
Operation Track Sweep campaign

The MTA today announced that it has begun Phase 2 of Operation Track Sweep, its multi-pronged plan to dramatically reduce the amount of trash on subway tracks, and in the process improve the station environment, and reduce track fires and train delays. This second phase of Track Sweep focuses on an intensive two-week, system-wide cleaning during which more than 500 workers will remove trash and debris from the tracks at all of the system’s 469 stations – more than 10 miles of subway station track. The clean-up work on underground stations will be done at night, when ridership is at its lightest. During the day, workers will clean tracks at outdoor and elevated stations. During this phase of Operation Track Sweep, signs will be posted at each station noting the date and time that the tracks were cleaned.

“This multi-part track-cleaning initiative will have a real effect on service -- by getting rid of trash on the tracks we can reduce the number of track fires, and limit delays,” MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast said.

“Our two-week intensive clean-up is just one part of a larger initiative,” said Veronique (Ronnie) Hakim, President of NYC Transit. “We’re also increasing the frequency of track cleaning over the long haul, developing new track cleaning technologies, and acquiring three new vacuum trains that can remove up to 14 cubic yards of trash every day. Finally, we’re asking everyone to help out by disposing of trash properly – a cleaner subway benefits everyone.”

Operation Track Sweep includes four complementary phases:

Phase 1

In June, the MTA implemented a new, more aggressive, cleaning schedule that re-prioritizes stations based on the amounts of trash usually removed, and increases the frequency of station track cleaning from 34 station tracks every two weeks, to 94 station tracks every two weeks.

Phase 2

Starting today, Monday, September 12th, the MTA has launched an intensive two-week, system-wide cleaning during which more than 500 workers will remove trash and debris from the tracks at all of the system’s 469 stations – more than 10 miles of subway station track. The clean-up work on underground stations will be done at night, when ridership is at its lightest. During the day workers will clean tracks at outdoor and elevated stations. During this phase of Operation Track Sweep, signs will be posted at each station noting the date and time that the tracks were cleaned.

Phase 3

The MTA is also working with two manufacturers on the development of a powerful – but portable -- track vacuum system that can be quickly deployed, operated from platforms, and moved easily from one station to the next. Prototypes of the new vacuums are slated to arrive in the November/December time frame.

Phase 4

In addition, the MTA has ordered a trio of powerful new track vacuum trains, with the first two trains arriving in 2017, and a third in 2018. Vacuum trains can remove up to 14 cubic yards of trash every day. The MTA is also purchasing 27 new refuse cars to move debris out of the system more quickly and support the new expanded cleaning effort. The cars are equipped with special railings to secure and transport wheeled garbage containers that are collected at subway stations.