As part of the collateral damage from the MTA’s decision to shutter station booths and axe station agents, MetroCard readers in the subway turnstiles are getting cleaned less often, says The Post, and labor officials are making it a point of contention with the MTA. According to Janet Roth’s brief report, station agents used to clean the readers daily with an alcohol-based cleaning solution on a dummy card, but with fewer agents to clean the slots, straphangers might notice more reader errors. The MTA told The Post that station chiefs and cleaners are to do these daily cleanings, but union officials are telling the cleaners that cleaning isn’t part of their job.
This sort of funny, sort of predictable story leads me to two conclusions: First, the riding public yet again comes out the losers in this battle between a cost-cutting agency and its employee unions. Second, when the MTA finally implements a contact-less fare payment system, this petty argument won’t matter any longer.