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 What's the deal with crazy hot subway cars in winter?

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Courtesy CC/Flickr/Dan Nguyen

What's the deal with crazy hot subway cars in winter?

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

By Will Gleason
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Holidays in NYC are always a magical time. Soft snow blankets our fair city. Twinkling holiday lights hang over busy sidewalks. Store windows transform into enchanted kingdoms bedecked with ribbons and glitter. And, most magical of all, the subway thwarts all logic and turns into a goddamn sauna until March.

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What’s that, you say? Surely the sweatiest season to ride our city’s labyrinthine underground public transportation system is the height of July, when the subway temperature crests 100°F and the breeze wafted by arriving trains offers but a brief, stanky respite. Alas, my little elf, you are mistaken.

In a cruel twist of fate, the coldest months breed the hottest rides. As New Yorkers don layer after layer of stifling clothing to guard against the elements, they inadvertently set themselves up for a sweltering commute.

The subway platforms are overcrowded, if only because every rider is swaddled to Michelin Man–size dimensions, delaying trains and overstuffing cars. When you finally board a train, you’re immediately surrounded by a heaving mass of Canada Goose jackets in a narrow space with a heat index of a scalding cup of hot cocoa. But emerge into the frigid aboveground blizzard and your sweat quickly freezes beneath your wool scarf.

Dear MTA, Do everyone a favor and turn down the heat! Hot-boxed subway cars in the middle of December is a Christmas miracle nobody asked for.

Not all of NYC is annoying!

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