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Summer means more spit lobbed at train conductors

It’s spitting season for transit workers.

There’s been a rash of train conductors getting spat on by unruly riders this summer, with teens particularly using unsuspecting workers for target practice, according to transit reports.

“It was very disgusting,” said Alberto Hernandez, 57, who was spat on by an irate woman at 14th Street on the No. 3 train last month. “Thank God I carry water. I had to flush my face out.”

Three train conductors were spat on in less than a week last month, an unusually high number of instances. Last year, 22 workers were spat on during all of 2009, with three of them taking time off from work, according to transit figures. The MTA couldn’t say how many days they were off the job.

Train conductors, who stick their heads out the window when entering a station, have also suffered more serious assaults. Last month, one conductor was beat up by 10 teens, another was slapped, one was hit repeatedly with a newspaper and another started gushing blood after he was struck with an object on the F train at 23rd Street, according to transit reports.

“When the kids are out of school, they ramp it up with all kinds of problems,” said Peter Pineiro, a train conductor on the J line, who was attacked by a mob of teens at Essex Street. “During the school year I get spat on a lot less.”

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