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New York City Wants To Add Piss Sensors In Subway Elevators

New York Daily News Archive. Getty Images.

SOURCE - New York City Transit President Richard Davey told the City Council in December that the MTA was looking into ways to employ urine sensors in station elevators that sometimes double as toilets. 

The MTA’s request outlines how the systems must be “smart” enough to tell the difference between urine and other aromas, including perfumes, colognes, food, garbage and smoke. The pee-detecting tech would then have to provide visual, aural or electronic alerts about soggy messes to the MTA so workers could be dispatched for cleanup.

The subway elevators are a special level of Hell. It's not just the piss stench. There are multiple smells and fluids all over the place and you expect to get hepatitis if you touch anything. I've lived in NYC for a few years in my life and have luckily only taken the elevator a small handful of times but they are horrible to even walk past. I genuinely feel bad for anyone who is unable to use stairs and relies on something that makes Greyhound buses look spotless.

I do think there is something funny about the MTA basically admitting defeat to piss. They'll spend money putting in sensors so someone can go clean the piss but are acknowledging they can't stop people peeing in the elevator. I don't entirely understand the allure of peeing there. I'd be nervous that the pee could somehow get on my shoes if the piss starts to leak towards me. I'd also be so ashamed once the doors open and someone tries to get on right after. You can't really lie because the pee would be so fresh.

Giphy Images.

As the above GIF attests, sometimes you do just have to go and this isn't just a New York issue. They tried these same sensors in Atlanta and they failed miserably. The sensors themselves would become filled with urine and started to smell. They'd also set off alarms at all hours of the night because piss doesn't sleep. They've all since been removed.

The bigger issue NYC needs to look at it just providing a cleaner subway system as a whole. There is no excuse in 2023 that we have to travel in such a disgusting place. If any public company was run like the subway, they'd either be out of business or ironically closed by the government because it's a health hazard. You have piss and shit all over the place and more rats than you can count.

Gary Hershorn. Getty Images.

If you are someone that is pissing in elevators, please just stop. Piss is so gross and you can't escape it. Even here at HQ, the urinal doesn't flush right and is often just filled with the darkest yellow piss you've ever seen. It's so disgusting. I had forgotten how much piss you encounter living here. It's almost impossible to take a subway and walk around NYC for any amount of time without running into the stench (and sight) of urine. Sensors aren't going to fix this. The yellow tide will always win. Piss is undefeated.

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