Now we know what the “R” and the “N” stands for in the names of two of Brooklyn’s key subway lines: “Rancid” and “Nasty.”
That news comes from the Straphangers Campaign’s latest survey of subway cleanliness (or lack thereof), which found that the R and N trains have clean scores of 25 and 29 percent respectively — the two worst lines in the entire subway system, according to the transit watchdog group.
Surprise? Not to regular riders on the second-class routes.
“They’re both nasty!” said Joey McPhail, Bay Ridge resident and frequent rider of both trains. “The reports definitely got it right.”
R-train rider Nina Zaragoza also finds her commute from Bay Ridge, “disgusting,” she said.
“It’s dirty all the time, full of papers, empty bottles, urine,” added Zaragoza, who runs a tutoring agency.
For her, there was only one bright side to the filth: a few years ago, she encouraged her students to write a play about the subway system — and the kids wrote a story called “Stuck on the R Train.”
Rankings are compiled after an up-or-down rating of each car as “clean” or “dirty” by a Straphangers volunteer. The score reflects the percentage of cars that appeared clean.
This year’s ranking for the R and N are a huge comedown. Only last year, the R train had a 45-percent score and the N was ranked 63 percent clean.
A Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokesman did not repudiate the Straphangers findings, but blamed budget cuts for “unevenness in results across the lines.”
The spokesman said that maintaining high ranks across the whole system would require about 400 new employees — something the spokesman called “extremely unlikely.”
There was some good news for Brooklyn riders in the report: the D train was ranked 80 percent clean, the best in the borough and the second best in the system.
And systemwide, the Straphangers report found a slight overall improvement, 57 percent up from 50 percent last year.