The Best and Worst Subways in Queens

Straphanger’s 15th annual study has determined that the Q subway line is the best in New York City. The C subway line, which has been rated worst six times in the fifteen years that the Straphangers Campaign has been issuing report cards, was voted the worst for the fourth year in a row. The results were based on six categories: scheduled frequency, regularity of service, breakdowns, seat availability, cleanliness and announcements.

Systemwide, the report found that New York City subways improved in two aspects of service – the rate of car breakdowns, which improved by 1.5 percent and the number of car announcements, which improved 3.4 percent.

Despite improving the number of breakdowns and providing commuters more announcements, NYC subways have gotten dirtier. Straphangers Campaign determined that there was a 4 percent drop in the cleanliness. Last year Straphangers found 94 percent of cars to be clean as op- posed to 90 percent this year.

The Q, which runs from Astoria/Ditmars Avenue to Coney Island/Stillwell Avenue, had a “MetroCard Rating” of $1.60 — $2.25 being the highest. The 7, J and Z trains tied at a close second with a MetroCard rating of $1.55. The C subway line, which was voted the worst, had a $0.85 MetroCard rating.

Among the subway lines serving Queens, the E and F subways were tied for seventh place with a MetroCard rating of $1.40. The M came in at ninth with a $1.25 rating and the R and N trains placed tenth with a $1.20 MetroCard rating.

The report showed that the car breakdown rate improved slightly from an average mechanical failure every 170,217 miles to 172,700 miles during the 12 month period ending in December of 2011. According to the Straphangers Campaign, the positive trend reflects the arrival of new model subway cars in recent years and better maintenance of Transit’s aging fleet. Eleven lines improved (1,2,3,5,6,C,E,F,G,N,and Q), while nine subways lines worsened (4,7,A,B,D,J/z, L,M, and R).

Queens’ commuters will be happy to hear that the E had the best record on delays caused by car mechanical failures – once every 816,935 miles. The C train had the worst with a car break- down rate more than 12 times higher – every 64,324 miles.

Riders had the best chance of (71percent) getting a seat on the R train during rush hour, while the 5 was much more overcrowd- ed, with riders having only a 23 percent chance of getting a seat.
The 6 train had the most scheduled service, with two-and- a-half minute intervals between trains during the morning and evening rush hours. The 7 train came in second with scheduled service and the 1 train came in third. Queens subway lines the E and the F came in fifth while the R came in fifteenth, the N came in at sixteenth and the M came in at nineteenth out of twenty — only better than the C train.

By Natalia Kozikowska


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