Transit group lists 7 train among city’s cleanest lines

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Some of the city’s cleanest and at least one of its dirtiest trains carry subway riders through Queens, the transit advocacy agency Straphangers Campaign reported in its periodic “shmutz” survey.

The G line, which transit officials nearly cut in half last year in a much-protested route restructuring, was rated the most improved line in the New York City transit system as far as cleanliness was concerned.

G riders enjoyed cars with a 79 percent cleanliness rate and the line was the third cleanest overall in New York City. W trains were 81 percent clean, the best in the borough.

Near the other end were R trains, with only 37 percent of cars rated as clean, which left the R third from the bottom in dirt.

Only Q trains with 36 percent of the cars categorized as clean and the C line, with 31 percent, were worse.

The cleanest subway line citywide was the L line with 85 percent of its cars found to be clean.

“Transit officials have made some real progress in the war on subway grime,” said Neysa Pranger, who coordinated the survey for the Straphangers Campaign.

The scores of other lines that run through Queens and the percentage of cars that are clean:

J/Z - 37 percent; F - 49 percent; E - 52 percent; N - 60 percent; V - 63 percent; 7 - 78 percent; M - 53 percent;

The Straphangers said the G train had cleaned up its act from having only 22 percent of its car cleans in the previous 2000-2001 survey to the present 79 percent.

The Straphangers recommended that transit officials set a higher goal for cleanliness. According to the New York City Transit’s own most recent survey, 24 percent of subway cars had moderate or heavy dirt.

“That’s still an unacceptable performance,” said Pranger.

Volunteers inspected 2,200 of the subway system’s more than 6,000 cars on 22 subway lines in conducting the survey.

The Straphangers rated “heavy dirt” or “light dirt” on floors and seats along with sticky spots but not litter left on seats and floors, which are regarded as a problem created by subway riders.

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

Posted 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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