7 Voted Cleanest Subway Line; R … Not So Much

R stands for Raunchy.

MTA subway cars on the R line were voted the dirtiest in this year's 10th annual "subway shmutz" survey out Thursday.

Only 25 percent of cars on the R line earned a "clean" rating.

The 7 line was voted the cleanest, which earned an 84 percent "clean" rating in the second half of last year.

"I've recently taken the 7 train several times to the new Citi Field in Queens from Midtown," said Bruce Sholl, 34, of Harlem. "I was surprised at how clean and modern the cars were, like something from the future."

Overall, car cleanliness improved in 2008 from the year before. Fifty-seven percent of subway cars on all lines got the clean ratings, up from 50 percent in the winter of 2007.

But don't expect a similar increase -- or really any increase -- in next year's report. You may have heard about budget issues over at the MTA; about 40 car cleaners and 10 of their supervisors are headed for layoffs.

"It is encouraging to find an increase in clean cars," said Gene Russianoff, spokesman for the Straphangers Campaign, which sponsors the survey. "But we are very concerned that cuts in cleaners will result in dirtier cars."

Russianoff said the next report would show whether "fewer elbows result in less elbow grease."

Nine subway lines (4, 5, A, B, D, E, J, M and V) improved their cleanliness rating, five (1, G, L, N and R) suffered declines and eight (2, 3, 6, 7, C, F, Q, W) remained about the same.

According to the survey, a "moderately dirty" train car could include a dingy floor or one or two sticky dry spots.

A "heavily dirty" car includes heavy dirt, any opened or spilled food, hazardous (rolling bottles, etc.) or malodorous conditions, sticky wet spots or any seats unusable due to unclean conditions.

Contact Us