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The Germiest Places on the Subway: Tips for Staying Healthy and Avoiding Illness

Taking the subway is an everyday part of life for many New Yorkers, but it is also a common source of illness-causing germs and bacteria. The subway system is an efficient and convenient way to get around the city, but it is also a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. With so many people using the subway system, it is not surprising that it is a hotbed of illness-causing germs. Here are some tips for staying healthy and avoiding illness when riding the subway.

The Germiest Places on the Subw

1. Poles and Handrails

Poles and handrails are some of the most germ-ridden surfaces on the subway. Everyone who rides the subway holds onto these surfaces, making them a prime breeding ground for bacteria and viruses. To avoid getting sick, try not to touch the poles and handrails if possible. If you have to hold onto them, use hand sanitizer afterward.

2. Subway Seats

Subway seats are also a hotbed of germs. Many people sit on these seats throughout the day, and they’re rarely cleaned. It’s best to avoid sitting on subway seats as much as possible. If you have to sit down, use a tissue or a piece of clothing as a barrier between yourself and the seat.

3. Turnstiles and Ticket Machines

Turnstiles and ticket machines are another high-touch surface that’s full of germs. Many people touch these surfaces throughout the day, making them a prime breeding ground for bacteria and viruses. To avoid getting sick, try not to touch turnstiles and ticket machines if possible. If you have to touch them, use hand sanitizer afterward.

Tips for Staying Healthy on the Subway

1. Wash Your Hands

Washing your hands is one of the most effective ways to prevent illness. It is crucial to wash your hands before and after riding the subway. If you can’t wash your hands, use hand sanitizer instead. Most subway stations have hand sanitizer dispensers, so make sure to use them.

2. Avoid Touching Your Face

Avoid touching your face when riding the subway. This will help prevent the spread of germs from your hands to your mouth, nose, and eyes. Germs can easily enter your body through these parts, so it is important to avoid touching them.

3. Use Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer is a great way to kill germs and bacteria. Keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer with you when riding the subway and use it after touching high-touch surfaces. If you do not have hand sanitizer, you can use alcohol wipes instead.

4. Wear a Mask

Wearing a mask can help prevent the spread of germs and bacteria. Consider wearing a mask when riding the subway, especially during cold and flu season. The mask will help prevent you from inhaling germs and bacteria, as well as prevent you from spreading your germs to others.

5. Keep Your Hands Busy

Keeping your hands busy can help prevent you from touching your face or high-touch surfaces on the subway. Consider reading a book, playing a game on your phone, or listening to music. By keeping your hands busy, you can reduce the likelihood of touching germs and bacteria.


While the subway can be a germ-ridden place, there are steps you can take to stay healthy and avoid illness. By following these tips, you can help prevent the spread of germs and bacteria and stay healthy while riding the subway. Remember to wash your hands, avoid touching your face, use hand sanitizer, wear a mask, keep your hands busy, and stay home if you’re sick. Stay healthy and safe!

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