This Just In: The Subway Smells Really Bad

A Bottle O’ Pee

So there’s been a buzz around the blogs lately about the subway smelling really bad. Old news? Yeah, like who didn’t already know that?

Never fear…as per usual, AMNY is on the case of obvious news. They did a story about straphangers having to hold their noses at some subway stops. (BTW, has a new look. Glad to see Newsday finally made the move out of the early 90’s.)

So as we all know, this kind of story is the bread and butter of papers like Metro and AMNY. Since their entire existence depends on the city’s transit system for circulation, stories like this are good for a slow day I guess. However, it seems that the blogs have picked up on it for some reason.

Blogs like SUBWAYblogger, Subway Tracker (an AMNY product ironically enough), SAS, and Gothamist have long been tracking the subway stink. So what’s all the buzz about?

It seems that Herald Square (34th Street) seems to get the award for smelliest station. That’s no surprise to anyone that has gone through there. There’s one stairwell to the 1 train that always smells like a dead body that got pissed on.

Cleanliness is a serious subject for New York City Transit, and as part of a new customer service initiative, about 350 more cleaners will be on the roster by fall to keep stations fresher, trains cleaner and platforms and tracks clearer and safer. They’ll also be able to respond to specific stenches faster. (AMNY)

Uhh…no. That’s not the problem. The trash, dirt, etc is not what’s causing most of the smell. It’s the homeless bums using the subway as a toilet. Just the other day I was standing on the platform on my way to work. Just 8 feet away, a bum steps up to the edge and whips his schlong out, and lets loose. He then proceeded to yell at everyone standing around him.

Then there’s the guy that shits in the subway stairs. At one of my stops, there’s one of those “Exit Only” stairwells. Some guy goes down there every night to take a shit, since there aren’t likely to be other people around. Sometimes, he puts down some newspaper to shit on. However, his aim isn’t that great. Sometimes, he doesn’t even bother with the newspaper. So every day, in the same spot, is a fresh pile of poo.

Some of them pee of the edge of the platforms. Some of them pee in the corner. Other’s look for a drain in the floor. So what the hell do you expect from a puddle of piss fermenting in the heat of the summer in NYC? That smell travels my friend. Also, the bums themselves have such an offensive odor. Have you ever boarded a train in the early morning when they are still sleeping on the train? One homeless guy can stink up a car so badly that the smell will linger with you hours afterwards.

THAT my friends is what is causing most of the odor problem. Clear out the homeless people, and the smell will quickly improve.

Instead of hiring more janitorial staff, there needs to be a police task force with the sole responsibility of removing the homeless people from the subway system. Yeah, they’re going to find a way back in. But eventually, the aggravation is going to force them elsewhere. The sad truth is the society would actually rather just keep them underground. Out of sight is out of mind.

Have you ever gone into Penn Station late at night? There has to be a few hundred homeless people sleeping in there. They’re everywhere. In Penn Station itself, in the subway, in all the halls, etc. No wonder it smells so badly.

The interesting part is that no one has picked up on this. The smelliest stations are going to be the most heavily inhabited stations. Period. Think about it. Come back to the smelliest station you can think of early in the morning or late at night, and you’ll find out exactly why it smells like a toilet.

Oh and yeah, the photo is a bottle of pee left on a subway platform.

6 thoughts on “This Just In: The Subway Smells Really Bad

  1. why don’t we just give them a place to poop and pee rather than chasing them out into the light so they can poop and pee elsewhere?

    aren’t you just pushing the problem to another corner of the city?

    why not actually help these people rather than criminalize them?


  2. why don’t we just give them a place to poop and pee rather than chasing them out into the light so they can poop and pee elsewhere?

    Huh. Didn’t think of that. Yeah, that could work. Maybe more actual bathrooms in the system, and have the MTA keep those clean.

    why not actually help these people rather than criminalize them?

    That’s been a problem since the beginning of time.


  3. Actual Better Smelling Station to Report.
    23rd street, 6 train. Exit at the front (south) end of the train. There is just one stair well out at that end, on the north side once exiting the turnstiles. Back in the day there as a stairway on the other side, but it had been sealed up some time in the past (guess they never figured peeps would get off at 23rd and Park). Anyway, bums always slept in that little closed stairwell alcove and sure as rain it smelled like crap/piss every morning. Bout two weeks ago the MTD boarded up that alcove and put a door in there, I guess to create storage space. Ever since – almost pleasant smells. Almost.


  4. Homeless people aren’t the sole offenders. Average Joes and regular guys are the prime offenders in the subways and in the street. I have witnessed this many times. One guy just decided to take a leak at a phone booth- in one incident.


  5. How mean!!
    One should never speak the truth if the truth offends any member of the protected classes (public school teachers *they work for nothing, you know*, members of the Church of Mother Earth, and BUMS; for instance).
    Instead inhale deeply the smell of those kicked to the curb by a vicious and uncaring USA, and know the smell you smell comes from those much more holy than you!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s