In its annual “subway shmutz” survey, the Straphangers Campaign found that 50 percent of subway cars were rated “clean,” a decline from the previous year, when 57 percent of cars received this rating, according to an article in the Epoch Times.

“It’s as clear as the grime on a subway car floor: MTA Transit cuts in cleaners has meant dirtier cars,” said Gene Russianoff, a campaign attorney for the Straphangers Campaign. “And more cuts to come means more dirt for subway riders.”

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) experienced a budget shortfall and approved of budget cuts to their cleaning staff, as well as other services in 2009. Over the past two years, the agency cut 151 cleaning workers and 32 supervisors.

The MTA has proposed to cut even more services in the next fiscal year, as it faces an $800 million budget shortfall.

The advocacy group used the “clean” rating for cars that were “basically dirt free” or had “light dirt” with “occasional ‘ground-in’ spots but generally clean” floors and seats. Unclean cars were considered to be “moderately dirty” if they had a “dingy floor [and] one or two sticky dry spots, ” or “heavily dirty” if they had “opened or spilled food, hazardous (e.g. rolling bottles), or malodorous conditions, sticky wet spots, any seats unusable due to unclean conditions.”

The survey did not count litter, but assessed grime and dirt on the floors and seats of subway cars.

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