And you thought Roombas were cool.
The MTA announced it was entering a new phase in its plan to “dramatically reduce the amount of trash on subway tracks,” also known as “Operation Track Sweep,” according to a statement from the transit agency.
MTA maintenance crews have already expanded their cleaning efforts from cleaning 34 station tracks every two weeks to 94 tracks every two weeks, and will be starting an intensive, system wide cleaning of all the system’s 469 stations starting Monday, September 12.
But next year, those plans will include two new track vacuum trains that will ride along the rails and collect up to 14 cubic yards of trash each day. A third such train is scheduled to be purchased in 2018.
Workers will also start testing portable track vacuums to help clean subways later this year.
“There’s no question that a concerted and sustained effort to limit trash on subway tracks will have a significant impact on the efficiency of subway service – getting rid of trash on the tracks helps us decrease the number of track fires, and that means fewer delays,” Chairman and CEO Thomas Prendergast said in a statement. “Just as importantly, this initiative will also have a positive effect on how people feel about their daily commute – when there’s less debris, the entire station looks and feels cleaner, and the ride is more enjoyable.”
The clean-up work on underground stations is be done at night, when ridership is lowest, the agency said.