Pols Eye MTA Bedbug Bill in Wake of Reported Subway Sightings

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Two Brooklyn politicians are drafting a bill that would require the MTA to notify straphangers within 24 hours about reported bedbug sightings on city subways or buses after a recent spate of sightings on trains. Tracie Strahan reports. (Published Friday, Aug 29, 2014)

    Two Brooklyn politicians are drafting a bill that would require the MTA to notify straphangers within 24 hours about reported bedbug sightings on city subways or buses after a recent spate of sightings on trains.

    An N train was fumigated this week after a conductor reported being bitten by bedbugs in the cab of the train in Brooklyn's Dekalb station. It was the fifth time this month a train was pulled out of service over bedbug reports.

    City Council member Mark Treyger and Assemblyman Bill Colton, both Democrats, are working on the bill.

    Calling the reported bedbug cases "disturbing," Treyger told the Daily News, “This concerns the public safety and health of both the transit workers of the MTA and the ridership.”

    In addition to notifying the public about reported bedbug sightings, the bill would require the MTA to tell patrons what it is doing to get rid of the creepy crawlers when they're discovered.

    A union representing city subway and bus workers supports the measure.

    The MTA said in a statement it immediately takes a train out of service if a bedbug sighting is reported and fumigates it. Spokesman Adam Lisberg said the agency has found bedbugs on fewer than two dozen trains and those trains were fumigated.

    Lisberg said there has been no evidence of infestations.

    "More than 5.8 million people ride 8,000 subway trains on an average weekday, but the MTA has found no bedbug infestations on any trains, and has found and treated bedbugs on only 16 trains," Lisberg said.

    "The MTA is securing the services of a recognized expert to examine our management plan and ensure we are taking all possible steps to ensure the comfort and safety of our employees and customers," he added. 

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