The Straphangers Campaign rated 47 percent of subway cars as "clean" in a survey conducted in the fall of 2010, which was a decline of four percent compared to the survey in the fall of 2009 and continues a downward trend that began in 2008.
The worst performing line in the survey was the R, with the smallest number of clean cars at 27% in this survey, down a dozen percent from the year before.
The best performing line was the 7 with 68% of its cars rated clean, up from 2009.
Five of the 20 subway lines grew worse, while one improved and fourteen stayed largely the same.
The Straphangers point out that the 2010 MTA budget contained cuts in cleaning staff, with car cleaners going down from 1,138 with 146 supervisors in 2009 to 1,030 cleaners and 123 supervisors in 2010.
The car cleanliness survey is based on 2,000 observations of subway cars by the Straphangers Campaign between September 14 and November 20, 2010. The 2009 survey covered a nearly identical period.
Other key findings of the survey included:
MTA New York City Transit conducts its own semi-annual subway car cleanliness survey.
Transit's survey showed that the number of clean car floors and seats (those with no or light dirt) "in service" declined slightly from 95% in the second half of 2009 to 94% in the second half of 2010, a statistically insignificant change.