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Queens Chronicle

Straphangers grade subway cleanliness

L Train is the best; D sees big drop

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Posted: Thursday, March 27, 2014 10:30 am

“D” apparently stands for dirt according to the results of a study by the Straphangers Campaign on the cleanliness of 20 New York City subway lines.

In a statement issued on March 20, the Straphangers, a branch of the New York Public Interest Research Group, found that 42 percent of the subway cars their staff investigated in fall of 2013 were rated as clean, a drop-off from 52 percent in 2011.

The survey was based on 2,000 observations between Sept. 4 and Dec. 30, 2013.

“This continues a general trend of a decrease in the number of clean subway cars since 2008,” according to the statement, the increase in 2011 notwithstanding.

“Transit officials are losing the war against dirty subway cars,” Jason Chin-Fatt, a field organizer for the survey, said.

The L train was considered the cleanest line with a score of 63 percent, up from 58 percent in 2011.

The D line fell from 49 percent two years ago to 17 percent this past fall.

Cars were rated for cleanliness of floors and seats. “Basically dirt-free or “light dirt” were considered clean.

Litter, the Straphangers said, was not factored into the ratings’ equation.

The survey found that nine lines, including the Q, N, F, A, B, D, 1, 2 and 3 lines, earned ratings that “experienced significant deterioration” since 2011.

The L line’s increase of five points apparently did not sufficiently impress the Straphangers, as they placed it in the category of 11 lines that did not show “statistically significant improvement.”

Those also included the 4, 5, 6, 7, C, G, J, M and R lines.

The group does state that New York City Transit’s own survey for the second half of 2013 found a cleanliness rate of 92 percent for cars in service.

The Straphangers noted the surveys had different methodologies.

They rate trains at all hours and on weekends. NYC Transit monitors on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m.

The full reports from both groups can be found online at straphangers.org and mta.info.

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