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SUBWAY TRAINS FOUND TO BE GETTING DIRTIER

The city's subway trains are getting dirtier, according to a new report.

About 61 percent of trains were rated dirt-free or generally clean in the 2004 Straphangers Campaign survey released this week, down from 66 percent in 2003.

Until this year, the survey showed train cleanliness had been steadily improving. As recently as 1999, just 32 percent of trains were deemed clean, according to the survey. The figure rose to 47 percent in 2000 and 59 percent in 2002.

The dirtiest trains in the latest survey were the 1 and 9 trains, which run from lower Manhattan to the Bronx; only 14 percent were rated clean.

On the cleanest line -- the N, which runs through Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens -- 86 percent of trains were clean.

Problems included dingy floors, spilled food, empty soda bottles and bad odors.

The report said staff and budget cuts were likely to blame for the decline in cleanliness.

The Straphangers Campaign, a division of the New York Public Interest Research Group, is a watchdog group that monitors subways.

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