By Philip Newman
The D train is the dirtiest subway line and the L is the cleanest in the latest report from the transit advocacy agency Straphangers Campaign, which reported several Queens lines “significantly deteriorated.”
The Straphangers, according to the 13th and 14th annual “Subway Shmutz” surveys, said it found a general decrease in cleanliness in subway cars since 2008.
Cleanliness dropped from 56 percent in 2008 to 51 percent in 2009, then again to 47 percent in 2010. There was a modest improvement — 52 percent — in 2011, but a significant fall to 42 percent in 2013, the Straphangers said.
“Transit officials are losing the war against dirty subway cars,” said Jason Chin-Fat, field organizer of the Straphangers.
The report said the worst performing line was the D, with the fewest clean cars at 17 percent, down from 49 percent back in 2011. The best was the L with 63 percent of its cars rated clean, up from 58 percent in 2011. The D runs from Coney Island to 205th Street in the Bronx, while the L operates from Eighth Avenue in Chelsea to Rockaway Park in Brooklyn.
Nine of the 20 subway lines grew significantly worse, while none improved and 11 stayed largely the same.
The Straphangers reported that the number of Metropolitan Transportation Authority-budgeted cleaning staff has stayed about the same with 1,030 car cleaners and 141 supervisors in 2012 and 2013.
The subway lines with statistically significant deterioration between 2011 and 2013 were the Nos. 1, 2 and 3 and A, B, D, F, N and Q. Mostly unchanged were the Nos. 4, 5, 6 and 7 and C, E, G, J, L, M and R.
“Will subway cleanliness continue to suffer as budgets grow tighter? We will do another survey next year, compare and find out,” said Cate Contino, coordinator for the Straphangers.
Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at email@example.com or phone at 718-260-4536.