New York Subway Workers Run “Rate My Rat” Photo Contest

For those of you who have used the subway in New York, the sight of rats must be quite common. Those pesky rodents are spotted quite frequently on subway tracks and platforms. Apparently, subway workers have had enough of this and want their workplace to be completely free of rats. And they’ve come up with a totally unique idea to accomplish this – a rat photo contest.

New York subway workers are holding a photo contest – for the “nastiest” shot of a rodent. Subway commuters are being urged to click pictures of the rats they see every day and upload them to the website The grand prize is a monthly transit pass. The site was created by the largest union in the city, the Transport Workers Union Local 100. The winning photograph is to be selected by popular opinion. Visitors to the website are able to vote for the most repulsive picture on the ‘Rate my Rat’ section. They have five options to choose from – Handsome, Cute, Plain, Ugly and Beastly. Most of the rat-pictures have been rated between 3 and 5, while a few actually have been called cute.

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It does sound like a fun contest, but the organizers are pretty serious about seeing some results. Jim Gannon, a TWU Local 100 spokesperson said, “Who the hell wants to work around hundreds of freaking rats?” Through the contest, the union wants to call on the attention of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to get the subway stations cleaned more frequently, repair holes in the walls and install more trash cans on the platform.

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The MTA, however, has a different story to tell.  They say that they routinely clean the platforms and tracks of all trash. They also dispose of trash effectively, place poisonous baits in non public areas and remind people not to litter, they claim. The MTA chose not to comment on the claim of the Union that there has been in a spike in infestation in recent months. Sounds like the union and MTA are having a little cat and mouse game of their own, doesn’t it?

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