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Survey: Only 42 Percent Of Subway Cars Are Clean; D Train Is Worst

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A new survey revealed that the number of clean New York City subway cars declined between 2011 and 2013.

As 1010 WINS' Gary Baumgarten reported, the Straphangers Campaign released the results of its "Shumtz Survey" on Thursday. The campaign found that 52 percent of subway cars qualified as clean in the fall of 2011, but only 42 percent were clean two years later.

Survey: Only 42 Percent Of Subway Cars Are Clean; D Train Is Worst

The general trend has shown a decline in train hygiene over the past five years, the campaign said.

In 2008, 56 percent of trains were clean, followed by 51 percent in 2009, and 47 percent in 2010. The rebound in 2011 has been more than canceled out, the campaign said.

Nine of the 20 city subway lines have grown significantly worse, while 11 stayed largely the same, the survey said. None got better.

The nine lines that saw the greatest deterioration were the No. 1, 2 and 3; A, B, D, F, N and Q lines, the survey said.

The No. 4, 5, 6 and 7 lines and the E, G, J, L, M, and R trains remained the same. The Z train was not mentioned.

Overall, the D Train rated the worst, with just 17 percent of its cars rated clean; dramatically down from 49 percent in 2011.

One man, Jimmy, has ridden the line all his life since he was a child.

"It could be better, yes," he said. "It should be, consider what they're asking as far as more money for transit and stuff like that; as far as the facilities we need to keep the tracks cleaner; the stations cleaner; the trains cleaner."

The L Train performed the best in the 2013 survey, with 63 percent of its cars rated clean compared with 58 percent in 2011.

The findings come even though the number of subway cleaning staffers has remained largely the same – with 1,030 car cleaners and 141 supervisors in 2012 and 2013.

The survey was based on 2,000 observations of subway cars by the Straphangers Campaign between Sept. 4 and Dec. 30 of last year.

Cars were rated on cleanliness of floors and seats.

Cars were rated clean if they were "basically dirt-free" or had "light dirt" in the form of ground-in spots. They were rated not clean if they were "moderately dirty" with a "dingy floor" and "one or two sticky spots, or "heavily dirty" with heavy dirt, opened or spilled food of any kind, hazards such as rolling bottles, foul odors, sticky wet spots, and conditions that made seats unusable.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority conducts its own survey, which found 92 percent of cars to be clean in the second half of 2013 compared with the 42 percent the campaign found. The campaign said it could not determine how the MTA came to its results.

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