When the Air Outside Drops, the MTA Turns Up the Heat

When the Air Outside Drops, the MTA Turns Up the Heat

By Yehudit Garmaise

The air on the streets of New York currently measures 40 degrees, but while waiting for or riding the subways, the temperatures suddenly double, according to commuters who have been glancing at their phones to note the tropical, 80-degree weather underground.

As fall turns to winter, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, (MTA) cranks up the heat at subway stations and trains, but commuters report feeling uncomfortably warm. 

When Chaim T. heads to the subway platform at 50th Street, the weather near and on the trains “is always what you don’t want it to be,” he said with a laugh.

The MTA’s insistence on heating trains and platforms excessively not only creates physical discomfort in New Yorkers, who are bundled up for the cold outside, but the soaring temperatures make many people feel more mentally agitated, as well.

“The subway stations and trains are ugly places as it is,” Chaim noted. “People don’t need to feel even more distressed.”

After riding the rails for three days carrying a thermometer, a New York Post reporter recorded temperatures ranging from the mid to high-70s all the way to 81 degrees.

“Some people might overheat quicker than they expect,” Jeremy Hess, an emergency medicine doctor and professor at the University of Washington, says according to the Post. “High environmental temperatures [such as in the subways] can be dangerous if they make it hard for people to maintain their body temperature in a normal range. Getting overheated can lead to heat exhaustion, slower cognitive function, a loss of and, in severe instances, heat stroke.”

“It’s cold outside, so I dress for the weather, and then I’m sweating on my way to work after taking the subway,” one commuter complained.

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