The NYC Transit is spending $9.5 million dollars to outside contractors to provide 100 stations and 3000 subway cars "intensive cleaning and refurbishment."
The head of New York City Transit Andy Byford says it's part of the $836 million subway action plan of quick improvements launched 18 months ago.
But MTA Board Member Veronica Vanterpool says she did not receive notice of the deep-clean until receiving a memo very recently.
“I was surprised to learn of this new initiative that was launched in December," said Vanterpool.
If you're wondering why the MTA is spending $9 million to contract out cleaning, the same work that MTA station cleaners do, you're not alone.
Some board members are calling the spending a waste of money that could be better used to improve the performance of trains.
The MTA has 2,900 station and car cleaners. Under an agreement with their union, two MTA cleaners will be assigned to every station cleaning, which Byford says is so that they can study the techniques of the contractors.
"Ultimately, this is their work,” Byford said. “We're not taking that work away. What we're doing is embracing or harnessing the skills and the methodologies and the products that private contractors can bring.”
Byford said those products include sand blasters and special sponges. However, it is unclear if the MTA will purchase those items so its workers can one day use them.
The Prince Street and 8th Street stations on the N and R lines are two of the first to get the heavy duty cleaning. Several riders we spoke to said they didn't notice a difference.
"That's impossible, does not look like it at all,” one man said.”They say it is, but it's very dirty, it's no good."
These riders say that instead of getting cleaner stations, they think the MTA is being taken to the cleaners.