Half of subways are clean

If you ride the subway, you probably have a 50 percent chance your subway car is clean, according to the 9th annual “subway shmutz” survey released by the Straphangers Campaign.
The 50 percent cleanliness rating citywide for the 2007 survey was a slight improvement over a grade of 47 percent the survey showed in 2005 - the last year the figures were tabulated.
Meanwhile, Queens came in on both ends of the spectrum with the No. 7 train ranking second with 78 percent of the cars clean, but the E train tied with the Q train for the lowest percentage of clean cars at 29 percent.
“Passengers on the L and 7 are riding cleaner cars, thanks to more cleaners and better use of them,” said Gene Russianoff, the senior attorney for the Straphangers Campaign. “We congratulate New York City Transit and hope that riders on the other lines will soon be seeing cleaner subway cars.”
The No.7 line, which only had a 22 percent cleanliness rating in 2005, saw one of the most significant increases doing 56 percent better in 2007.
“The improvement on the 7 line is belated, but nonetheless welcome,” said City Councilmember John Liu, who is the Chair of the Council’s Transportation Committee and represents the Flushing area where the No.7 train travels. “In the spirit of continuous improvement, I hope no one is going to get complacent with a C+.”
Out of the 12 subway lines that travel through Queens, six had a cleanliness rate of more than 50 percent and six fell below that mark.
“We are troubled by the disparities in cleanliness we found, ranging from a low of 29 percent clean cars to a high of 88 percent,” said Cate Contino, the campaign coordinator who directed the survey.
Although the E train ranked at the bottom of the list at 29 percent, that was a significant increase from a sorrowful 2 percent in the 2005 survey.
“There may have been some improvement but an F- is sill totally unacceptable,” Liu said.
To check out how your subway line did in the survey, visit https://www.straphangers.org/shmutz07/table1.html

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