No. 7 Line sparkling clean

At least Met fans have a reason to celebrate; they ride the city’s cleanest train – the No. 7 – in an otherwise filthier system, a new report revealed.
The Straphangers Campaign recently released its 12th annual “subway shmutz” survey, which cited the R train as the dirtiest in a system that’s cleanliness has declined each of the past two years.
The Campaign found that merely 27 percent of cars on the R train were clean. The No. 7, which was the highest rated, had a 68 percent rating.
The survey found just 47 percent of subway cars as “clean,” down from 51 percent last year and 56 percent in 2008.
Only one line improved its cleanliness significantly – the M train – while five saw significant deterioration – the No. 6 and the B, L, E, and R.
The Straphangers Campaign’s numbers differ vastly from MTA findings. The system wide car cleanliness according to the MTA is 94 percent, or double what the “subway shmutz” survey found.
“We disagree strongly with the methodology and findings of the report, which does not accurately measure NYC Transit’s ability to clean subway cars,” Kevin Ortiz, a spokesperson for the MTA, said.
While the Straphangers Campaign could not pinpoint an exact reason why the wide ranging difference, the coordinator of the campaign, Cate Contino, said the MTA only rates trains during weekdays between the hours of 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. The Straphangers Campaign surveyed cars throughout the day and night and during the week and on weekends.
Once a train leaves the station, where there are cleaners, cleanliness is beyond their control, the MTA said.
The Campaign used similar although not exact methodology as the one the MTA uses.
The cleaning staff in the subway was reduced from 1,138 with 146 supervisors in 2009 to 1,030 cleaners with 123 supervisors in 2010, which the campaign predicted would cause dirtier trains.
“Despite reduced funding, we have managed our resources in such a way as to have minimal impact on car appearance by monitoring car cleanliness and adjusting the deployment of cleaning staff to react to changing conditions,” Ortiz said.
The car cleanliness survey was based on 2,000 observations of subway cars by the Straphangers Campaign between September 14 and November 20, 2010.
For more information on the Straphangers Campaign and the full report go to www.Straphangers.org.

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