Straphangers Campaign: "Subway shmutz" survey shows decline in train cleanliness

The watchdog group rated subway cars following the MTA’s own standards. (3/21/14)

NEW YORK - The latest "subway shmutz" report is out, and it says that the city's subway cars aren't getting any cleaner. 

According to the Straphangers Campaign, only 43 percent of subway cars citywide are clean, compared to 52 percent in the 2011 survey. Despite the decline, it says that the budgeted cleaning staff has remained largely the same. 

The report names the D line as the dirtiest with only 17 percent of its subway cars being clean, a big drop from 49 percent in 2011. The L train came in as the cleanest with 63 percent of its cars approved as being clean. 

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The watchdog group rates cars on 20 different lines based on the cleanliness of their floors and seats. It follows the MTA's official standards for measuring car cleanliness, but the agency disagrees with the results and the way it's conducted. 

An MTA spokesperson said in part, "It's like telling someone their teeth are dirty because they haven't brushed since this morning. We simply disagree with the Straphangers' flawed methodology."  

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