FOI request detail

Tube and Bus Cleaning

Request ID: FOI-2033-1718
Date published: 01 November 2017

You asked

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 I seek the following information: 1. How often are the tubes cleaned? 2. How often are buses cleaned? I would like the figures for the most recent 12 month period avaliable.

We answered

Our Ref:         FOI-2033-1718

Thank you for your request received on 24 October 2017 asking for information about the cleaning of buses and the London Underground trains.

Your request has been considered under the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and our information access policy. I can confirm that we do hold the information you require. You asked:

1. How often are the tubes cleaned?

Tube trains

The Bakerloo, Central, Waterloo and City, Victoria, Metropolitan, Circle, Hammersmith & City and District lines undergo the following cleaning regime:

• Pre-service clean - Nightly sweep and dusting of floors and surfaces, including removal of litter and cleaning of train poles. Seats are brushed and wiped on the sub-surface line section of the network.
• Mini clean – Implemented on a nightly basis dependent on a train’s arrival into the depot. Inclusive of floor, pole and surface cleaning every two to three days.
• 21 day clean – This currently works on a 21 day rotation and covers the cleaning of interior train poles, vacuuming of seats and cleaning floors.

The Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines are subject to the following cleaning schedule:

• Train poles are spot cleaned nightly during the train’s mini clean and are included in the periodic heavy clean carried out with the following frequencies:

23 days - Northern line
22 days - Piccadilly line
17 days - Jubilee line

Tube stations

Under the current cleaning contract the requirement for cleaning escalator handrails is to keep them free from dust and dirt, spillages, graffiti and stickers. The cleaning operatives will view on a daily basis and clean as required. A full machine clean of the escalators (including removal of steps) is carried out twice yearly.

2. How often are buses cleaned?

Buses are swept clean at the end of each day or driver’s shift. At the same time the general cleanliness of the bus, including its handrails, is assessed and any concerns are addressed.

Approximately every three months a deep cleanse is carried out, although the exact timescales differ between bus operating companies. Cleanliness assurance is provided by ‘Monitoring through Mystery Shoppers’ (MTS), where random checks are carried out and any issues are taken up with the bus operators.

If this is not the information you are looking for please do not hesitate to contact me.

If you are not satisfied with this response please see the attached.

Yours sincerely

Gemma Jacob
FOI Case Officer
FOI Case Management Team
General Counsel
Transport for London

[email protected]

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