Littering fines double in subway system

- The governor wants to combat trash in the subway system by doubling the fines for littering.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D-NY) unveiled the "Keep It Clean" program.  The MTA will run a public awareness campaign to inform riders of the impact on public safety due to littering.

He says subway littering is a significant underlying cause of flooding, fires and extensive delays in the subway system.   The penalty for littering will jump from $50 to $100 starting Wednesday Sept. 13.

Subway officials say that litter severely impairs the system's ability to handle the millions of gallons of water pumped out of the system every day.

As water flows through the track bed, it collects debris that clogs grated track drains, which in turn causes water to pool on the track bed, accelerating breakdown of the track plates and railroad ties. As pooling increases and the water level rises, it interacts with subway signal equipment - turning signals red and stopping trains on the track.

MTA officials also say that 700 fires on the tracks every year are due to littering.

Enforcement of the fines will largely fall to the New York Police Department, which is responsible for patrolling the subway system's 472 stations.

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