Here's one creepy finding to give you the willies on Halloween.
A new quality-of-life survey spotted rats on 13% of underground subway platforms — and on 21% of platforms in the Bronx, more than in any other borough — according to the Straphangers Campaign, which conducted the survey.
The other boroughs had their share of the pests too, as rats were found on 15% of platforms in Brooklyn, 13% in Queens and 10% in Manhattan.
For some New Yorkers, one rat is too many.
"I've been living in New York since college and I think it's worse now than when I first moved here," said Abbie Akande, who lives in Washington Heights.
"I see rats in the subways on a daily basis; all the subway stations are infested," Akande said. "It's becoming more frequent now," she said, adding that Columbus Circle and West Fourth Street are two stations where she sees them often.
Will McKinley, 43, who lives in Battery Park City, said he hasn't noticed an overall increase in rat sightings, but that he's seen them in different spots of the city.
"I've been seeing way more rats downtown than uptown recently. Perhaps it's migratory patterns? Or maybe we just drop better snacks on the platforms downtown," McKinley said.
The MTA said there is "no empirical data showing any type of increase in the rodent population" in the subway, and that the agency has "expanded efforts to seal trash rooms and take exclusionary measures to disrupt rodent access to the trash rooms." It has also commissioned research to better determine how to tackle rodents.
The Straphangers Campaign survey was conducted over the summer by 20 staffers and volunteers who visited all 862 platforms in the subway system, and discovered that 32% have "substantial" graffiti, 26% have "substantial" areas of missing tile, and 39% have "substantial" floor cracks, among other findings.
In evaluating only the system's underground platforms — all 525 of them — the survey found that 82% have "substantial" water damage, 74% have "substantial" peeling paint and 20% have broken lighting fixtures.
"We found what many riders know from bitter daily experience: Many subway platforms are grim and dreary," said Jason Chin-Fatt, the Straphangers Campaign field organizer who oversaw the survey.
The MTA argued that the survey's findings were mostly cosmetic, and that the "items in the Straphangers report highlight elements that would be extremely costly to keep in perfect condition and would do little, if anything, to either improve service or make stations safer."
"Our operating and maintenance forces have identified and repaired more station defects each of the last few years than ever before," said MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz. He added that last year, 39,000 defects were repaired, and that the agency is on track to complete more than 53,000 this year, a 36% increase.
Still, the Straphangers Campaign said it hopes the agency will listen to the findings.
"The environment's important to riders," said Cate Contino of the Straphangers Campaign. "We understand that [MTA officials] have other pressing issues and priorities, but maybe they can look at some of these concerns and set some goals for future improvements. "
Copyright 2013 - amNewYork, New York