Worldwide icon-chevron-right North America icon-chevron-right United States icon-chevron-right New York State icon-chevron-right New York icon-chevron-right New York's subway is way, way dirtier than you think
News / City Life

New York's subway is way, way dirtier than you think

New York's subway is way, way dirtier than you think

You'll definitely want to grab the nearest bottle of Purell after reading this new study from Travelmath.

The travel logistics site sent teams to five major cities to gather bacteria samples from the handrails of public transportation systems. While most of cities turned out to be surprisingly clean, NYC definitely, definitely did not.

Just how dirty is the subway? Measured in "colony-forming units" per square inch NYC finished at the front of the pack of the filthy five. San Francisco's trains had 483 CFU, Boston's had 10 CFU, Chicago's had 180 CFU, Washington's had 30 CFU and New York City had 2,000,030 CFU. 

I'm sorry, what?

Yep, the subway had far more bacteria than any of the other cities combined. In fact, the subway's handrails had 900x more germs than an airplane table. Touching one is equivalent to shaking hands with 10,000 people.

But hey, at least we've got to be immune to pretty much everything by now, right? Right? Just trying to see the positives here.

Recommended feature

See more on the Blog See more on the Blog






Jules W

Touching your pole in the subway is legal now that the City Council made urinating in public legal.

Ekaterina R

I don't have to imagine. I ride 3 trains each way. They are not just dirty. People listening their music loud. People smoke there and we are scared to say something. 

Pismo D

So ridiculous. pure fear for grandstanding sake.....You failed to mentioned that your body easily handles all this plus much, much more. It is perfectly normal for a human to be exposed to swarms of infectious agents all the time...

How many people per year die from infections acquired while riding the subway..?? You would imply with this total nonsense article that it is 100s per week.. It is not.. 

Nonsense, absolute and complete.. Sensationalization, cheap..