Report: Bay Ridge’s lone subway train is a reeky rail

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Bay Ridge’s only subway line has been named the dirtiest in the transit system.

The R train has the fewest number of “clean” cars at just 27 percent according to “Subway Shmutz,” an annual survey taken by the Straphangers Campaign, a transit advocacy group.

“Our surveyors found that the R trains were moderately or heavily dirty,” said Cate Contino, coordinator of the study. “Some of our findings indicated the seats were unusable.”

It’s a big come down for the R train, which wasn’t exactly clean in the 2009 version of the same survey, when 37 percent of its cars were rated “generally clean.”

The surveyors do not rate liter but do rate the cleanliness of train seats and floors, and look to see if either is marked with sticky material such as gum or drink residue, exposed food, rolling bottles or wet spots. If a train car has any of these signs it will receive a poor rating.

The group says it follows the same guidelines as the MTA, which conducts its own semi-annual subway car cleanliness survey.

But the transit agency says it disagrees with the methodology and findings in the survey, and that it does not accurately measure New York City Transit’s ability to clean subway cars.

Riders are siding with the watchdog group over this reeky rail.

“I definitely believe the R train is the dirtiest train,” said Jamie Austin who was waiting at the 86th Street stop in Bay Rige. “I see everything on this train from coffee spills to urine.”

And Austin wasn’t alone in her observation.

“It’s absolutely true,” said Roselee Huff from Bensonurst. “I take the R to the N train and the N is so much better, not just with speed, but also cleanliness.”

The car cleanliness survey is based on 2,000 observations of subway cars between September 14 and November 20.

Contino says the group isn’t trying to attack the MTA, just make the agency aware of its filthy floors and sticky seats.

“We’re not in the blame game,” said Contino. “We understand the agency has lost money, but we need to make them aware of their trains.”

Updated 5:24 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Jay from Bay Ridge says:
the cleaning crew at 95 Street terminal need to spend more time and effort in cleaning cars.. sometimes the cars were just untouched at 95 Street terminal.
May 6, 2011, 8:44 am
common sense from bay ridge says:
Also, sometimes that same crew at 95th street uses a map so foul smelling that you wish they had done nothing instead.
May 6, 2011, 10:23 am
jj from brooklyn says:
it wouldn't matter how many "workers" were assigned to 95th street. the system there, historically, has been to work just fast enough to demonstrate that you are not dead.

want cleaner subways? require cleaning "workers" to actually "work" all of the time.
May 6, 2011, 1:11 pm
Jay from Bay Ridge says:
when are we going to get new trains for the R line.. sometimes they run the new trains, but it is just hit and miss. those old R46 train cars were dating back to 1970s.
May 6, 2011, 1:41 pm
joebkny says:
Cool, Jay. You are right. cant believe those are from the 70's. They do seem like they were running forever. wikkpeia said that they were refurbished in the 90s I think the only think they added was those lcd signs.
May 10, 2011, 9:09 pm
C from Bay Ridge says:
And where does all of the trash come from? Our fellow riders.
May 13, 2011, 8:44 am
Jim from South Brooklyn says:
Jay, you can have the R-68 & R-68A from the N,B,D lines if you wish, THey are tin cans on wheels. The interiors are filled with scratch graffiti. The R-46 is a beautiful car and is in much better shape than teh tin cans. In the early 1990's the blue stripe was remoed, the LED signs were added, interior wind glass panels were removed, and they received many new electronic and mechanical components. THey recently went through another minioverhaul, where they received new glass, new floors, new HVAC and had the ends painted. You are stuck with the R-46 until the R-211 comes out in 2015
May 16, 2011, 5:14 pm
Susan from BR says:
On occasion I've inadvertently missed my stop and rode the train to the end of the line at 95th St to ride back to my stop.

I've watched the cleaners there and they just sweep out the trash and swipe a map a few times. They then sit down to read one of the newspapers left on the subway floor.

I don't know what a station supervisor does. They seem to be pretty useless.
May 18, 2011, 4:15 pm
Jane from BR says:
I hate the new cars. Less seats and no seat deliniation makes everyone's ass look and act bigger.
May 19, 2011, 10:43 am

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