Get us in your inbox

Courtesy CC/Flickr/Brian

Subway platforms are way too hot

This is what’s driving us bonkers in NYC right now and making us (almost) want to move

Will Gleason
Written by
Will Gleason

If you've ever doubted there is a fate worse than hell, I’d invite you visit a subway platform in Union Square during morning rush hour at the height of summer. The heat is so oppressive, you feel like you’re trapped in a sauna with a business-casual dress code. I’ve had mornings when I’ve been about five degrees away from full-on hallucinating and starting up a conversation with one of those new light-up kiosks. “Love the new look,” I’d say, smiling as my shirt completely melted off my body.

RECOMMENDED: See more New York rants

But in this case, I’m not going crazy. When the Regional Plan Association took a thermometer to 16 of the busiest subway stations last summer, it recorded the highest temp in Union Square: a whopping 104 degrees Fahrenheit—20 degrees warmer than the high in Central Park that same day! No New Yorker should be forced to endure this mandatory sweat lodge on a regular basis. Not even the ones that make it to the front of the line at a coffee shop without knowing what they’re going to order.

It turns out that a lot of that sizzling heat is caused, ironically enough, by the exhaust released by the subway cars’ A/C units. The MTA says the system’s tunnels, which were built before A/C existed, are too narrow to fit in extensive station-cooling machinery. But could we at least get a few fans on these hellish platforms? If we can’t get rid of all this hot air, it would help if we could at least move it around a bit. Please, before one of us loses it.

Not all of NYC is annoying!

    You may also like