Home MTA Absurdity The MTA hates pigeons too

The MTA hates pigeons too

by Benjamin Kabak

Neither pigeons nor this vintage train will be appearing at 103rd St. in Queens again. (Courtesy NYC Subway)

My mom and sister – two frequent visitors to this site – hate pigeons with a vengeance. These ugly, disgusting flying rats once prompted my mom to declare that she would shoot the pigeons if she could. And my mom is not a violent person.

Well, Mom and Victoria, the MTA is right there with you, but instead of shooting this bird, they’re going to shock them instead. Faced with a pigeon problem at some of their elevated stations in Queens, the MTA is going to shock these birds into submission. The New York Sun reports:

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is implementing Operation Bird-B-Gone at three of the most avian-friendly stations on the no. 7 line. To prevent birds from reproducing underground and leaving behind unsanitary and unsightly droppings, the stations are being wired to zap birds when they goto roost on ledges in the stations.

Today, the MTA and state representatives will announce the completion of station refurbishments, including the electrical wiring, at the 103rd street station. The MTA will next tackle the pigeon woes at the 90th Street station.

The article goes on to note that pigeons are attracted to dirty stations where they can easily scavenge scraps of food. In typical MTA fashion, then, the obvious solution – cleaning up the stations – is the one not implemented. Assemblymen Jose Peralta and Jeffrion Aubry have tried for years to get the MTA to clean up the stations at 90th, 103rd and 111th Sts. in Queens, some of the dirtiest in the system according to the MTA.

But when these efforts proved futile, Peralta and Aubry instead secured the state funds to install the electric wiring. In the face of typical MTA bureaucracy, these two simply took matters into their own hands.

And so three stations in Queens will be safe for my family and pigeon-haters everywhere.

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wayne's world February 15, 2007 - 5:00 pm

When the animal rights activists get wind of this, those zappers will be gone.

Marsha February 15, 2007 - 5:36 pm

I was just about to write what Wayne’s World wrote, but he beat me to it. Less pigeons in the world is fine with me. Pigeons have no redeeming values so maybe the animal rights activists will just stick with fur coats.

Victoria February 15, 2007 - 11:12 pm

“To prevent birds from reproducing underground” ewwwww pigeons reproducing blechhhh. also, i don’t think i got enough credit in this post and i think “Marsha” got way too much. i am the one who TRULY despises pigeons and have hatched a plan to feed them poisoned breadcrumbs (hope the animal rights activists don’t read this). rats with wings is MY thing. hehehe shock birds into submission….

Peter February 21, 2007 - 7:48 am

YEp, that station is dirty, and the politicians have focused on the logical culprits: Pigeons & the MTA. Unlike residents of the neighborhood, it must be the MTA leaving garbage and filth all over the place.

Benjamin Kabak February 21, 2007 - 1:58 pm

I hear you, Peter. Just yesterday actually, I said something to a women when I saw her throw her trash out the train door and onto the platform. She looked rather sheepish that someone had noticed and said something to her. Maybe that’ll make her think twice about littering the platforms when she’s three steps away from a garbage can.

RFM March 7, 2007 - 8:49 pm

Apparently there really is something to the expression, “People who hate pigeons are people who hate life”.

Jim (UK) March 22, 2007 - 3:13 pm

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John Butchko June 14, 2014 - 9:34 pm

Came upon this years after the fact, and, yes that finally cleaned up the actual station (a bit). After attempting to rid the station of the flying vermin by electrocuting them, and a bit of clean-up, the MTA discovered a colony of feral cats, and the crazies who were feeding them. Like Victoria wanted to do with the pigeons, the best solution was final. A quick bit of poison, scooped up the survivors and sent them to be euthanized, and most of the problem solved! They’re still having to catch the occasional stray cat and dog, but it keeps the idiots from feeding them, and the pigeons, too.


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