Thursday, December 18, 2014

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D Train Named Worst Offender in Annual "Subway Shmutz" Report

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New Yorkers riding the subway may want to watch where they step as a new report finds that overall cleanliness on subway cars dropped last year, especially on the D line. NY1's Jose Martinez filed the following report.

The D might as well stand for "disgusting." Just ask those who ride it.

"You try to find a seat mostly at the edge, at the end of the train, like the corners of the train. It's filthy! Like, people be spilling things all over the floor," said one rider.

"It's not clean. It makes you feel a bit dirty," said another rider.

"A guy actually urinated himself on the train, so that's what was left on the ground," recalled a third rider.

A new Straphangers Campaign analysis says the D has the dirtiest cars, with fewer than one in five rated as "clean" last year. The last "Subway Shmutz" report in 2011 told a different story.

"It went from 49 percent of their cars being clean down to 17 percent. And that's a big change in what riders see on the floor and on the seats," said Jason Chin-Fatt of the Straphangers Campaign.

The report says overall subway car cleanliness dropped to 42 percent last year, down 10 percent from two years earlier. It says nine lines - the 1, 2, 3, A, B, D, F, N and Q - got much grimier, with the L coming in as the cleanest line.

But the advocacy group can't quite pinpoint why shmutz soared, as New York City Transit hasn't cut back on car cleaners.

"What we hypothesize is that there are a lot more riders using the system," Chin-Fatt said.

But the MTA says its own numbers from last fall had 74 percent of those surveyed saying they were "very satisfied" with overall car cleanliness.

The Straphangers Campaign specifically went in search of grime, stickiness and spills - not litter that can be swept or mopped away.

"Somebody who just maybe rolled up a plain bagel and a brown paper bag, maybe we wouldn't have counted," Chin-Fatt said.

Straphangers probably wouldn't want to know what types of nasty stuff the Straphangers Campaign discovered in the course of putting together the "Schmutz Report." Then again, those who ride the subway have probably seen it all before.

"Things ranged from chicken bones to open plates of Chinese food. Bottles and cans," said Cate Contino of the Straphangers Campaign.

Survey takers say it could have been worse, though.

"I don't think we found any dirty diapers this year," Contino added. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP