MTA officials consider food ban on subway after trash track fire

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NEW YORK — After a rocky start to the summer that included a chaotic Monday morning commute caused by a trash fire underground, the MTA is looking for solutions to reduce debris.

"We need to make sure the trash doesn’t get down there," MTA chairman Joe Lhota said.

The MTA recently invested in new portable vacuums and the agency is considering a change in their policy allowing food in the subway system.

"Just recently I was on a train, subway train, the No. 2 train," Lhota said Tuesday. "Someone got on with a Styrofoam thing with Chinese food. There was a lot of rice and inevitably the rice fell. It was all over the place. I want to avoid things like that."

Lhota said he is considering a program that would define what foods are appropriate for the subway system.

Commuters had mixed opinions.

"I think food is OK as long as it's not messy, like no ketchup or no, like, liquids because they can make a big mess," said commuter Maya Doron-Reva.

But some riders think the subway isn't appropriate for food at all.

"There are places for everything. They should eat outside of the train station," a woman said.