No, it's not you: the subways are actually getting dirtier, according to a new survey.
Only half of New York City subway cars were rated as clean, according to a survey taken last fall -- a year earlier, riders deemed 57 percent of subway cars clean, according to the last results from the Straphanger's Campaign Shmutz Survey.
The M line is the dirtiest, according to the survey, and the No. 6 and C lines are the cleanest.
"It’s as clear as the grime on a subway car floor: MTA Transit cuts in cleaners has meant dirtier cars,” Gene Russianoff, attorney for the Straphangers Campaign, said in a press release. “And more cuts to come means more dirt for subway riders.”
There were 43 fewer car cleaners in 2009 than in 2008 and another 108 cleaners are slated to be cut in the 2010 budget, the Straphangers report.
Eleven subway lines experienced “statistically significant deterioration,” the report finds: the 1, 4, 5, 7, B, D, F, G, J, M and V. The D had deteriorated the most: 80% clean in 2008 to 38% clean in this 2009 study. The M, as the dirtiest car in this survey, was 32% clean.
Opposingly, the 6, C, N, Q and R showed significant improvement. The 6 and C were rated the highest, with 65% cleanliness.
The survey concludes that subway cars are on average 50% clean. NYC Transit’s survey, however, found cars to be 95% clean.
These findings this year showed improvement in overall cleanliness for the second half of 2009. The two surveys use similar but not identical methodology.
The Straphangers campaign acknowledged the difference in their press release but did not specify a reason for the discrepancy, other than to point out that “the Campaign rates throughout the day and night and on weekends. New York City Transit rates on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m.”
Forty-five trained surveyors from the Straphangers Campaign rated cleanliness of floors and seats on a scale of one to four, one being “extraordinarily clean” and four being “heavily dirty.” The survey was conducted between September 3 and November 24, 2009.