To the Editor:
The other month, the Transit Authority’s “deep cleaning” pilot program ended. Two weeks ago, in The New York Times, Governor Cuomo said Transit Authority Cleaners needed to adopt the “best practices” of the “deep-cleaning” program. One has to wonder if Governor Cuomo is aware of the extraordinary measures New York City Transit took to make the deep-cleaning program apparently successful.
(1) For instance, is Cuomo aware that the deep-cleaning teams stayed on one platform at a station for the entire week?
(2) Is Cuomo aware that, at local stations, trains ran express so as to allow the deep-cleaning teams to work unimpeded by passengers getting on and off the trains?
(3) Is Cuomo aware that there were approximately 10-15 deep-cleaners on the platform at any one time?
(4) No passengers were allowed onto the platform the deep-cleaning teams were working on, including those seeking to buy Metrocards or get travel information.
Let’s contrast that with what is NORMALLY done. (1) We have specialty teams, Wash Teams. They are scheduled to visit each station approximately once every two weeks FOR ONE NIGHT. Additionally, we have single individuals assigned to scrub the floors during the week at night.
(2) In neither case is train traffic rerouted to allow our employees to work unimpeded by passenger flow. When a train pulls in, work stops to allow passengers to get off the train.
(3) There are generally two wash teams, each team consisting of three people, that wash the platform down in one night, not the 10-15 people that comprise the deep cleaning teams. And, as noted earlier, the CTA who scrubs the floor works solo.
(4) Even in those situations where service is not running at that particular station, we are still required to keep the side where there is a manned booth open for customer-service purposes.
I haven’t even brought up the numerous safety violations I watched the deep-cleaning teams engage in, violations which could very well result in suspension time for a cleaner.
So, my question for Governor Cuomo would be: Were you made aware of these differences before urging these “best practices” on them?
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