Q subway line is tops, C is the worst, report finds
The "sad and sorry" C subway is still the MTA's worst -- and it's unlikely it will get any better for at least a few years.
The Straphangers Campaign gave the route its depressing distinction Wednesday, due in large part to its "ancient" train cars, which have been around since Lyndon B. Johnson was president, and break down more often than trains on every other line. That, on top of the 10-minute scheduled wait between subways during the evening rush hour and its habit of having the filthiest cars of the agency's 20 routes.
The Q line, which runs from Coney Island to Astoria, was named the MTA's best.
Gene Russianoff, a spokesman for the riders advocacy group, said it created the ranking based on a line's schedule, its ability to follow it, how often trains breaks down, the likelihood a rider will get a seat, the train's cleanliness and how easy it is to understand announcements.
"People who ride the C train should be up in arms about the quality of service," Russianoff said Wednesday morning as he unveiled his group's report, which is based on MTA data. But he said straphangers are used to the crummy service.
"This is not a shock to New Yorkers," he said. "They pretty much all know that the C stinks."
Riders won't see new C cars until 2015; the agency approved a plan in March to buy 300 new trains.
The MTA pointed to improvements it has made, including improved maintenance and extra countdown clocks in stations.
"While we appreciate the positive results of the Straphanger's latest survey, those results do not tell the full story," the agency said in a statement, suggesting that riders look at the MTA's own monthly "Key Performance Indicator" report, which grades riders' wait time, how accurately subways follow schedule and the distance between breakdowns. The MTA gave itself a 82.5% overall rating in its most recent self-assessment, with the No. 2 and 4 lines tying for last place.
Russianoff said it's not entirely the cash-strapped MTA's fault that service isn't better, saying, "There's just not enough money to do the things that they need to do."
Chloe Anderson said she appreciates the Q line, which she regularly takes.
"For one, it's reliable," said Anderson, 24. "And the cars are newer and brighter, which makes you feel safe."
Chrystelle Henri, of Flatbush, wasn't surprised the No. 2, which she takes to work, was tied for third-worst subway line.
"Sometimes I have to leave thirty minutes early from home to get to work on time," said Henri, 20. "The train does what it wants."
(With Ariam Frezghi)
Amount of Service
Best: No. 6
Regularity of Service
Worst: No. 5
Chance of Getting a Seat
Worst: No. 5
Best: No. 1
Ability to Understand Announcements
Best: No. 4/Q
Worst: No. 7
(Source: Straphangers Campaign)