Brooklyn Boro

Heat wave makes temperatures skyrocket in city subway stations

August 14, 2018 By Raanan Geberer Brooklyn Daily Eagle
AP Photo/Mary Altaffer
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Temperatures inside the subway system’s underground stations have always been hot in the summer, but last week’s heat wave made people take notice.

On Thursday, temperature inside the busy Union Square station reached 104 degrees, nearly 20 degrees warmer than the high in Central Park, according to CityLab. That day, the Regional Plan Association measured temperatures at 16 of the system’s busiest stations as well as several others, and 12 out of the 16 reached 90 degrees or more. Few of the system’s stations are equipped with air conditioning, although this is common in newer city subway systems.

MTA says it’s not practical to install AC equipment in the subway system’s narrow tunnels. While the subway cars themselves are air conditioned, MTA has seen a rising number of complaints about cars in which the air conditioning doesn’t work. For many people, the extreme heat below ground can be a threat to their health: CityLab writer Laura Bliss temporarily lost consciousness after the packed, non-air-conditioned car in which she was riding was stalled in the tunnel for 40 minutes. Thankfully, she came to consciousness within seconds after fellow passengers helped her.

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