Stop Dropping Your AirPods Onto The Tracks, Says New York MTA

Because many New Yorkers have accidentally dropped their beloved AirPods onto subway tracks this summer, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority is considering the issuance of a PSA asking commuters to not take their AirPods on or off while entering or exiting the trains, according to the Wall Street Journal.

MTA maintenance supervisor Steven Dluginski says the number of lost AirPods first spiked in March after Apple released the AirPods 2, but there’s been a considerable uptick this past summer, presumably due to the heat and humidity on subway platforms that makes “the ears and hands of New Yorkers pretty sweaty.” It’s true that during the summer months, stepping onto a subway platform is a disgusting, sauna-like experience. In an investigation, Gothamist found that some platforms can get as hot as 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s definitely steamy enough for those tiny earbuds to slip out of sweaty ears.

Up to 25 MTA workers search the tracks thoroughly for lost items every weekend. Before, workers retrieved baby pacifiers and dentures. Now, they recover AirPods. The Wall Street Journal also states that “on one particular Thursday”, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority got 18 requests to retrieve lost items, and six of these requests are for AirPods (that’s one-third!)

“It’s job security, as far as we’re concerned,” Dluginski says.
MTA workers use an eight-foot pole with two rubber claws at the end to grab items, but retrieval can take a while. In July, one of commuter Ashley Mayer’s AirPods fell onto the tracks. She was told that it would take two hours to retrieve, and she had to be present for it. So she went on a DIY rescue mission and managed to retrieve her AirPod with some duct tape attached to the end of a broom. It may not have been the safest or most sanitary option, but it was certainly cheaper than paying $69 for a replacement AirPod.

Have you dropped your AirPods in a similar situation?

(Image Credit: Ashley Mayer/ Twitter)

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