|Embargoed for release:||For info, contact: Gene Russianoff|
|March 25, 2008, 10:30 a.m.||or Cate Contino at (212) 349-6460|
Subway Car Cleanliness Improved Slightly Between 2005 and 2007,"Shmutz" Survey Finds L Line the Cleanest; 7 Line Tied for Runner Up Pilot Program for Lines Is Working
Cars on E and Q Lines the Dirtiest; Wide Disparities Among All 22 Line
(New York, New York) - The number of clean subway cars improved slightly since 2005, according to the ninth annual "subway shmutz" survey by the Straphangers Campaign, released today.
The best performing line was the L, with 88% of its cars rated clean, up from 61% two years ago. Tied for second best line was the 7, with 78% clean cars up from 22% clean cars in 2005.
Both the L and 7 are in a new car cleaning initiative.
Starting in mid-September 2007, "additional cleaners were deployed at both terminals for these lines, working in multiple shifts to provide 24-hour coverage," according to MTA New York City Transit. Beginning on December 10, 2007, two new "line general managers" were appointed with greater authority to run the L (Greg Lombardi) and the 7 (Lou Brusati).
The survey was conducted on 2,200 subway cars on 22 subway lines between September 20, 2007 and January 11, 2008.
Campaign surveyors rated 50% of subway cars as "clean," a small statistical improvement from 47% of cars rated clean in a survey conducted in the winter of 2005. (No survey was released for 2006 so as not to rate New York City Transit’s new administration too early.)
The worst performing lines were the E and Q, with the smallest number of clean cars at 29% each. The E performed worst in our survey two years ago, with 2% of its cars rated clean.
"Passengers on the L and 7 are riding cleaner cars, thanks to more cleaners and better use of them," said Gene Russianoff, campaign staff attorney. "We congratulate New York City Transit and hope that riders on the other lines will soon be seeing cleaner subway cars."
The survey found a statistically significant improvement in nine subway lines (2, 7, B, E, G, J/Z, L, M, and V), and deterioration in six lines (3, 4, 6, C, D, and Q). Seven lines remained basically unchanged (1, 5, A, F, N, R, and W). (See Tables One and Two.)
Cars were rated on 22 lines for cleanliness of floors and seats, following MTA New York City Transit's official standards for measuring car cleanliness. Cars were rated as clean if they were "basically dirt free" or had "light dirt" ("occasional 'ground-in' spots but generally clean").
The survey did not rate litter. Since 1997, the campaign has conducted eight largely similar studies for similar periods. (See attached methodology.)
"We are troubled by the disparities in cleanliness we found, ranging from a low of 29% clean cars to a high of 88%," said Cate Contino, the Campaign coordinator who directed the survey.
Other key findings of the survey included:
The campaign urged transit officials to:
This survey was funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, a leader in supporting assessment of public services. The findings can also be found on the Internet at www.straphangers.org.