It's technically the Year of the Dragon; but underground, it's the year of the rat.
The Transport Workers Union Local 100, the union for the city's subway workers, has released the winning shot in its "Rate My Rat" photo contest, launched last month.
The TWU asked straphangers to submit their best subterranean rodent shots and subway rider Michael Spivack, 61, has been pronounced the winner.
Spivack, an architect, snapped the photo on the platform of the Seventh Ave.-53rd St. station in the summer of 2008.
TWU officials and their "Rat Free Subways" mascot, a 12-foot inflatable rodent, will present Spivack with his prize, a free monthly MetroCard, at 53rd Street and Broadway on Thursday.
The union hopes the campaign will pressure the MTA to take furry fury more seriously.
Straphangers really connected with the competition, said Alan Saly, director of publications for the TWU.
"People are really paying attention to how many complaints (about rats) fall on deaf ears," said Saly. "The fact we have so many pictures shows how many rats there are."
More than 300 people submitted photographs, but not all of them had whiskers.
“Some were pictures of the mayor,” said Saly.