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Snake's owner gets a mothereffin' bill from the MBTA

The MBTA has dunned Penelope the Snake's owner $650 for sanitizing the Red Line car she spent a month in.

In a letter to Melissa Moorhouse of Allston, MBTA treasurer-collector Wesley Wallace writes that letting the snake loose, even if inadvertently, violates the T's pet policy and adds:

To rid the subway car of any traces of germs such as salmonella, which may have been left by your snake, MBTA maintenance crews had to scrub and disinfect the Red Line car in which your snake was found.

The MBTA took this necessary action based on information from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which states, "Children under five years old and people with weak immune systems should avoid contact with reptiles and any items that have been in contact with reptiles and amphibians.

Complete letter.

Chris Tashjian wonders:

So, the MBTA only scrubs and disinfects trains when a snake is found on board? Gross

Kate Hutchinson wonders if this means the T will start dunning people who cough and sneeze on train poles during flu season.

Jamie Doherty adds:

Pretty sure a lot of people are germier than snakes.

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Comments

So, the MBTA only scrubs and disinfects trains when a snake is found on board? Gross"

Logic FAIL.

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have you seen her? someone should scrub and disinfect her!!

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We need like buttons...I like this post so true.

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Seems like a good question to me.

There's a lot worse bugs then salmonella that people carry around every day. 90% of peoples shoes are carrying E. coli bacteria, which is pretty much people literally tracking around shit.

Mom had a reason to want the shoes at the door!

So the question is, why send a bill for something they do regularly?

And if they don't, that's pretty gross maintenance from the MBTA, since people are sitting, holding, and packing in the trains daily.

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Mom also had a reason to tell you to wash your hands.

Does your coffee shop clean the handles on the door? Does the restaurant clean the cash register? Does your auto shop clean anything?

The T should be free of debris, but it's not their job to sanitize the cars daily.

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The coffee and restaurant's are required by law to do those things.

And yeah, I'd probably wash my hands after shaking them with my mechanic (with all due respect to him)

But my question remains, as I remember an article here on UHUB about how the MBTA regularly cleans and disinfects trains for public health reasons.

So if it was normal, why the bill? If not, what was done differently and why?

It's even more pertinent today, since it appears the measles mumper, who is highly contagious, took the T!

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Again?

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compared to all the work involved and people inconvenienced.

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Some dumb hipster loses her snake on the MBTA, the MBTA has to clean up after her and there's outrage about the BILL?

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The charge should be even higher. Why not charge her for having Transit Police dispatched to the scene, and for holding up the Red Line. I was so mad a few weeks back when I read that she planned on bringing the snake back on the train again.

Good for the MBTA!

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If your house is burning down, maybe karma will come back and bite you when the Firefighters wait for you to write them a check.

Take your bootstrappy trolling and shove it.

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Forget unattended packages. A terrorist can put their bomb in a snake on the T, and have a month to escape while MBTA cleaning and maintenance don't manage to notice the snake-bomb.

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Has she been dunned or merely billed?
One billing does not a dunning make.

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Yes, it's more of a dunnette at best.

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She deserves it. What kind of dumbass brings a snake on the train and then loses it to boot.

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The most shocking revelation here is that the MBTA actually cleans the cars.

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And next time keep your snake in your control!
Ssssssssssss!!!

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Don't quit your day job to become a scientist. Seriously.

She should send YOU a bill for rodent control, including rabies and hantavirus reduction activities.

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According to the Globe the MBTA was following recommendations from the CDC in regards to handling reptiles. If my work was managing transit (not zoos) I might go with what a scientist says rather than what exotic pet enthusiasts think, just to cover my ass.

I doubt the train really needed to be decontaminated, but this was a nice way to stick this irresponsible pet owner and transit customer with a hefty fine after a very visible incident. No idea if there is actually a fine on the books for violating the T's pet container policy (if indeed that is a written policy?). Maybe the takeaway for the T is to make sure you have a pet carrier policy in place. Just think what would have happened if I got on that same train with my unleashed mongoose! Rikki-Tikki-Tavi all over again!!

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You need a new day job. Rabies is exceedingly rare in small rodents and hantavirus has never been documented in Massachusetts.

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CAN WHEELCHAIR PASSENGERS BILL THE MBTA when the wheels on the chair are covered with excrement?
CAN PASSENGERS BILL THE MBTA WHEN THE WINDOWS IN THEIR VEHICLES ARE SMASHED IN UNPROTECTED PARKING LOTS?
THE CENTER FOR DESEASE CONTROL SHOULD CHECK OUT SOME OF THE CHARACTERS THAT RIDE THE RED LINE. THEY HAVE DESEASES THAT HAVEN'T BEEN SEEN SINCE THE MIDDLE AGES.

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He doesn't appear to be screaming the only part that one would expect to be screaming -- said excrement on wheelchair wheels. (ew) Perhaps he has his caps lock button on backwards?

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I am so glad she is getting some sort of financial repercussion for her decision to bring a snake onto public transportation, and then losing it.

Even if the bill is for items not directly related to the incident (ie: cleaning rather than searching) I'm just glad that she has to pay something for being a crazy freak who caused a lot of people a lot of problems.

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She violated the T's pet policy. They don't have a hygiene policy, that I know of, so they can't fine you for slobbering on the poles or whatever.

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I agree with everyone, The T is very well justified for the expense. I think 650 bucks is nominal verses what she should be paying for police looking for it. (this gets expensive very quickly)

She also violated the T's pet policy, which means that most pets must be caged.

I do have to laugh at the thought of the T only disinfecting the car because of the snake, because haven't they looked at some of the passengers? I Mean many T stations are near hospitals, and the T is worried about snake salmonella? I swear one day a guy was covered iN MRSA getting on at Charles/MassGen one day.

But they DO somewhat have a point... and I think this might be a way for the T to finagle 'dinging' her. The T has no fine for breaking their Pet policy, so this is how they stuck it to her.

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does the MBTA send a bill to the family of some asshole that jumps in front of a train? I'm willing to bet there is far more clean up required after that than some snake hiding in the corner of a train car for a month.

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thats too cold but you have a point. i watch a short info movie one time. they had specialy trained people to clean the undercarrige of the trains sometimes they had to disasemble it to remove the flesh. and when they got wedge between the platform and the train twisted around and were still alive. they would have their family come down and talk to them.because they knew the minute the train was jacked away from the platform they would be dead. they try to keep suicides quiet but with the internet they cant. I know thier layabouts but thats one reason why i would never be a t cop or motor man and see this. you dont have any idea how much this happens.

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Wasn't that a Homicide: Life on the Street episode?

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Pretty sure the MBTA will also sanitize the car when someone shits in it. I think after a month it'd be safe to say there's some snake poop floating around that car.

POOOOOOOOOOOOOOOP!
Poo!!
SNAKE POO!

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Surely there are enough herpetophiles in the area to help.

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...oh and she's on disability....and she sure knows how to make sure her 15 minutes of blog-o-comment board infamy gets stretched out to the maximum. Snake as a pet, continually changing hair color, tattoos, receiving disability, can't pay her fine....Howie Carr will pay her to stick it out there a bit longer.

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People who puke or bleed should pay some cleaning bills too.

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the snake is cleaner than thoes crackheads and drunks that crap and piss their pants and sit on the seats. the snake was probably hiding in the knooks and crannys where nobody goes let alone cleans.

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I hope the snake got its shots after riding the T with those lovely public transportation denizens.

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You've got to be kidding. The MBTA is already enough of a joke without having to search a bunch of trains because A PET SNAKE SLITHERED AWAY UNNOTICED. They should have banned this nut job from the T and euthanized her "pet".

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