The city's subway trains have been declared graffiti free, ending an era of guerrilla artists who turned the cars into rolling canvasses of cryptic symbols, often-poignant art and downright threatening messages.

"When you're sitting in a graffiti-covered car, you don't feel safe," said Transit Authority President David L. Gunn. "There was a sense that the system was out of control."The Transit Authority planned a celebration Friday.

The agency began cleaning its 6,245-car fleet in 1984, and figures show the number of graffiti attacks has declined since then.