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Q, G trains filthiest in system: Survey

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The M line was the cleanest, but for the second year in a row, cars...

By Philip Newman

Subway trains have gotten cleaner largely because the Transit Authority has put more clean-up crews on the job, a transit watchdog agency reported in its fourth annual “Shmutz” survey.

The M line was the cleanest, but for the second year in a row, cars on the Q and G lines were the dirtiest, the NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign said.

“Transit officials have made steady progress in the war on subway grime,” said Farouk Abdullah, the campaign organizer who directed the survey of 2,000 subway cars on 20 lines between October 2000 and last month.

The survey rated 47 percent of subway cars clean compared to 32 percent last year. Cars on 10 lines were significantly better, including Nos. 3, 5, 6, 7, C, D, E, G, J/Z and L. Only the 1/9 were worse than last year.

Rated as unchanged from 2000 were Nos. 2, 4, A, B, F, M, N, Q and R.

Cars were rated for cleanliness of floors and seats, but the survey did not rate litter.

The Straphangers said the improved cleanliness was the result of the New York City Transit Authority’s decision to put more of its resources into cleaning subway cars.

The agency said that as of last August the Transit Authority had 1,119 budgeted car cleaners compared to 958 in 1998. The number of budgeted cleaning supervisors also was up from 88 in 1998 to 122 in 2000.

“More elbows have meant more elbow grease and that’s meant cleaner subway cars,” said Gene Russianoff, attorney for the Straphangers.

The Straphangers also noted:

• For the second consecutive year, the G and Q lines had the smallest percentage of clean cars, 18 percent for the G and 22 percent for the Q.

• For a second straight year, the cleanest line was the M, with 78 percent of cars rated clean.

• The most improved subway line was the L, with 73 percent of its cars clean compared to 21 percent last year.

Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 136.

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