The subway in Kew Gardens smells like anything but a bed of roses.
Commuters waiting at the Union Turnpike “E” and “F” train station have complained recently of a revolting stench engulfing the platforms.
“The smell is really bad, like something crawled down here and died,” said Jamie Skipper, a Kew Gardens resident who utilizes the station each day. “It is nauseating down here. It smells like a port-a-potty. You see everyone covering their faces and practically gagging. It’s not a good way to start the morning.”
“I pay $4.50 each day and I come here and it smells horribly,” said Leo Aminov, an 18-year-old Hunter College student. “It smells like something died in here. You have to hold your breath because you can’t take the stink.”
Upon investigating the smell, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) quickly discovered the root of the problem.
In a statement released on Wednesday, September 21, the MTA said the stench was emanating from “a large amount of refuse” that was discovered in an unused utility room in the tunnel. According to MTA spokesperson Kevin Ortiz, two homeless people were found in the room, and it is believed they left the refuse, which was partially composed of rotting food. The two destitute people were removed, and the MTA is still unsure how the utility room was breached.
During a two-night cleanup on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 20 and 21, the MTA power washed and sanitized the room. A new security hasp will also be installed on the door to prevent a repeat occurrence.
Although commuters recognized an improvement, the smell continues to linger at the station.
“I can tell they are trying to cover it up,” Skipper said. “It is certainly not as bad as it was, but it is still here.”