New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) is coming under fire from commuters and employees after bed bugs were once again found at the Continental Master Control Tower in Forest Hills. This is the second infestation at the facility over the course of several weeks. The previous infestation, which forced the facility’s closure due to fumigation, caused major delays and disrupted travel over nine subway lines. It would appear that the fumigation of the Continental Master Control Tower was unsuccessful, and bed bugs have again bee sighted in the facility.
Latest Infestation Threatens to Cause Travel Disruptions
This latest incident threatens to cause further delays for commuters while putting employees at a heightened risk for transferring bed bugs from their workplace to their homes. The MTA has assured the public and their employees that exterminators will be brought in to fumigate the facilities for a second time, hoping to finally eradicate the bed bug infestation. While treatments are scheduled to bypass rush hour, some delays will be unavoidable.
Conflicting Opinions on Cause of Infestation
As to the cause of the latest infestation MTA spokesman Tim Minton contends that it’s likely the bed bugs “originated somewhere other than these premises”. However, transit workers at the tower say that they have been complaining about the bed bugs for weeks with little effect.
Union officials and MTA employees have expressed concern that management simply isn’t taking the problem as seriously as they should. There is also talk among some employees of a cover-up in an attempt to downplay the infestation and the transit disruptions caused by the previous fumigation attempts.
Possible Cover Up
One MTA employee, who did not wish to be named, placed the problems squarely on the shoulders of a general superintendent alleging he is trying to cover up for past mistakes. According to this employee the superintendent made the “bone-headed decision” to close down the tower during rush hour when responding to the previous bed bug infestation. The fall-out from that response has caused the official in question to ignore further complaints of bed bugs in an attempt to avoid a repeat of the sudden closure that caused such disruptions during the last incident.
Plans for fumigation are in place and the MTA promises a comprehensive follow through with all treatments. Meanwhile, employees and commuters will have to hope for the best and take whatever steps they can to avoid bringing home any stray bed bugs they might encounter while riding on New York’s subways.