Nino Bussa, 62, holds down two jobs — one as a building porter in Midtown and the other at Park Slope’s Smiling Pizza, where he fields takeout orders. Both require the Bushwick resident to commute by subway, which he says is a nightmare now.
I’ve been riding the subway for 50 years. This is the worst I’ve ever seen it. The cars are dirty, dangerous, sometimes overcrowded — and they stink. You need a mask to cover your nose.
Last week, I got on the L and saw a naked guy lying across the seats. Of course, nobody wanted to be in the car with him. I went to the next one and there were three homeless people in there. The homeless have taken over the subway.
These people scare the hell out of me. They intimidate passengers who don’t want to give them money. They get right in your face and start cursing. Or they follow you up the stairs to scare you into giving them something. I got off the F at Delancey and saw 50 or 60 homeless on the platform, smoking, drinking, cursing people out. You feel like you’re walking into their house. I keep my head down, avoid eye contact. I work like a dog and don’t want trouble. There are no cops around.
You see dirty napkins and tissues on the floor of the train — plus clothes, food containers, everything. It’s so disgusting that you don’t want to sit down. I carry a bucket and sit on that instead of the dirty seat.
I used to love the subway. Now I don’t even want to be in New York. I can’t wait to retire and move to Arizona.
— As told to Michael Kaplan
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