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Transit

NYC subway riders rate the rails on Yelp; Q is best, while C and R are most reviled

The Q line makes subway riders gush online, while the C and R trains are the most reviled by commuters, according to an analysis of Yelp reviews.

Almost 1,600 straphangers have used the site as their soapbox -- not to leave snarky reviews of restaurants or coffee shops, but to dish on the ups and downs of commutes.

Across the subway system, riders chided their lines, penned love letters, and even anthropomorphized their trains by addressing them on Yelp. Some posted haikus, while others penned five-stanza poems.

The No. 7 wasn't deemed the best or the worst in the subway system, but the elevated Queens line sparked 197 reviews-- more than any other service.

Other trains had just a flicker of online presence. Despite decent Wi-Fi on the No. 2 train, its riders only left 29 reviews  and No. 3 train riders just posted nine.

Both the Q and No. 2 were rated 3.5 out of 5 stars, but the Q had more than double the number of reviews.

Although commuters griped about incessant "train traffic" delays the Q always seems to be battling, the express line generated some of the most fawning reviews.

"Fast, reliable, clean. With a bit of magic," wrote a Yelp reviewer who identified himself as Matteo R. "The Q train, a.k.a. Broadway express, bailed me out several times when I had to go back to Brooklyn from Manhattan late at night. The cars are bright, clean, and ... what is that? An announcement that you can hear AND understand?!"

Transit watchdogs weren't surprised the line did well on Yelp. "The Q has the newest cars, and is express running through Manhattan," said Andrew Albert of the Transit Riders Council. "What's not to like?"

Some riders feel so loyal to their subway lines, they admitted feeling guilty when they see other trains.

"I feel like I'm cheating on the D train every time I catch you on the transfer at Atlantic Avenue," confessed Miguel D to the N train. "But damn it, you do the job and you do it well."

Other subway lines' Yelp pages were a source of free therapy for downtrodden commuters who griped about ancient subway cars, long platform waits and excessive doorblocking.

Fed-up commuters gave the C and R trains a paltry two stars.

"Of course they're uncomfortable, creaky, loud, and dirty; they were built a year after President Kennedy was assassinated!" wrote one C train rider, who identified himself as National H. "When they were built Yogi Berra managed the Yankees, and Whitey Ford was pitching. It was Shea Stadium's first season. The World's Fair was in Queens."

The C line's subway cars date back to 1964.

"Of course people turn to Yelp to complain about the C train," said Wil Fisher, a 23-year-old member of the Riders Alliance, who lives off of the Franklin Avenue stop. "We haven't had any meaningful response from the MTA about the infrequent, unreliable service and riders are desperate to voice their concerns to anyone who will listen. For me, if I have time, I will often walk to other lines to avoid overheating underground as I wait for a C train that is infrequent and more often than not, delayed."

The R train was also wildly disparaged online.

"Ive spent countless hours stuck in the tunnels, or forced to quick-search for alternate paths from somewhere the R train just decides to die on us," sniffed Yelp user Gully F.

"I feel like the MTA should be paying ME to ride that thing."

Unsurprisingly, the L train also inspired 190 reviews with Brooklynites trashing the sardine-can trains during rush-hour but raving about the cars' cleanliness.

"Endlessly irritating. Reasonably punctual," said a poem by Yelp user Nate B. "Ceaselessly amusing. Typically running, unless it's not."

Scroll down to see how your subway line fared.

1 train: 82 reviews, 3 stars

The local line, which runs from the Bronx
Photo Credit: Flickr / Daniel Case

The local line, which runs from the Bronx to lower Manhattan, is ripped by commuters for being jam-packed and having a heavy population of doorstanders, as well as not running often on nights and weekend. It's praised for being dependable and one of the city's better lines, as well as often having Wi-Fi.

Jando S.:

"I'm not bitter, I try to give all trains the benefit of the doubt for reasons they can't control. For the 1 train, the only thing it has going for it is its route, which is the only reason why I ride it (or has a star in this review!)."

2 train: 29 reviews, 3.5 stars

The express line, which runs from the Bronx
Photo Credit: Flickr / Waywuwei

The express line, which runs from the Bronx to Manhattan and Brooklyn, was praised for short platform waits, and ripped for frequent construction work and panhandlers.

Rebecca M.:

"I never know if you will be on time, you have broken my heart. Once you sent me all the way to Dekalb, when all I wanted to do was get off on Wall, your excuse was rail work. Sometimes I think you do this to me on purpose. If you would like to make it up to me, I will be there tomorrow at 9 a.m."

3 train: 9 reviews, 3 stars

The express line, which runs from the Bronx
Photo Credit: <a href="http://bit.ly/1L4vai0"target="new">YouTube</a> / Dj Hammers

The express line, which runs from the Bronx to Brooklyn, was chastised for dirty subway cars and cheered for its speed and reliable air-conditioning.

Lauren H.:

"I have no choice but to ride you when I need to, but I think we should ultimately break up. We had a few good times, but that was back when I was in high school. Oh well, we'll always have Rockaway Ave, right?"

4 train: 44 reviews, 3 stars

The express line, which runs from the Bronx
Photo Credit: Flickr / Wally Gobetz

The express line, which runs from the Bronx to Brooklyn, was knocked for train delays and overcrowding, and complimented for its clear audio announcements. The No. 4 and 5 lines are the most crowded subway lines in the United States.

Monique R.:

"If you get a seat, consider playing the lotto because this train is packed every single time I need to board it. And its always the one to stall mid station when you have some guys armpit above your head and the barely audible announcements by the conductor."

5 train: 11 reviews, 3 stars

The express train, which runs from the Bronx
Photo Credit: Flickr / The All-Nite Images

The express train, which runs from the Bronx to Brooklyn, was praised for its speed and criticized for heavy construction work on the weekend.

T.B.:

"They will leave you deep in the bowels of the city on a crowded train with no escape. I have sat there for an hour underground no service w/ the creepiest people on the train. HORRENDOUS."

No. 6 train: 82 reviews, 3 stars

The local train runs between the Bronx and
Photo Credit: Flickr / The All-Nite Images

The local train runs between the Bronx and Manhattan. Riders approved of back-to-back service on the frequent line, and dissed its heavy crowds and delays.

Matt E. (5 stars):

"The 6 train seems to have adopted the mantra of the post office. I would say this train is, by far, the most reliable, clean, speedy train in all of Manhattan. 6 train has never disappointed me. I laugh and wave bye to those people sitting."

No. 7 train: 198 reviews, 2.5 stars

The Queens line runs between Flushing and the
Photo Credit: Getty / Andrew Burton

The Queens line runs between Flushing and the MTA's newest stop on 34th Street and 11th Avenue, with both local and express trains. Riders excoriate the No. 7 for signal problems, service shutdowns, crumbling stations, and overcrowding, but appreciate being able to check their email on the elevated line.

Katherine V. (2/5 stars):

"It's like I'm being held hostage by this train. Too many delays as of late. Whenever I'm not on it, I swear I can hear at least 10 of these bad boys passing in a minute (I live near Roosevelt ave). Whenever I AM on it, it's permanently stuck on one speed: crawling obnoxiously slow for a few seconds before pausing for half an hour. And repeat. Also, the mets suck."

A train: 106 reviews, 2.5 stars

The express train runs between upper Manhattan and
Photo Credit: Flickr / Charles16e

The express train runs between upper Manhattan and the outer stretches of Queens. Riders say it's a cheap way to get from Kennedy Airport to Manhattan, love skipping the stops between 59th and 125th Street, and roast the line's subway acrobats, panhandlers, and weekend service.

Chad S. (4/5 stars):

"I've been blessed to ride this beautiful motion of grime only a handful of times, yet the express sure beats the Local C. Not only is this a treat full of mid day shows including ruthless boom box dancers and relentless homeless folks displaying the occasional public urination, it's a look into NYC history and culture."

B train: 24 reviews, 3 stars

The B train runs from the Bronx to
Photo Credit: Flickr / Adam Fagen

The B train runs from the Bronx to Brooklyn during the day and evenings on weekdays. Riders hate the inaudible announcements and want weekend service, but say it's a fast train that is easy to get a seat on.

Aaron L.:

"Hey, B. Remember that time I left a package in your 110th terminal and when I came back to get it the bomb squad had taken it? Good times.

"I kinda miss you. You're the only train I know that is always near-empty and always free of tourists; you're the train in which I can huddle up on the rails and play PSP games for a half hour; you're the train I used to take to work back when I had a job.

"But that was years ago.

"Maybe, some day in the future, I'll get a job and have to ride you again. Or, perhaps I'll end up dating a gal that lives on the orange line! One can dream ..."

C train: 59 reviews, 2 stars

The local train runs from upper Manhattan to
Photo Credit: Flickr / JuntosWorldwide

The local train runs from upper Manhattan to Brooklyn. Riders despise the long platform waits and ancient subway cars, but like how close its subway stations are to Central Park.

National H.:

"Of course they're uncomfortable, creaky, loud and dirty; they were built a year after President Kennedy was assassinated! When they were built Yogi Berra managed the Yankees, and Whitey Ford was pitching. It was Shea Stadium's first season. The World's Fair was in Queens."

D train: 66 reviews, 3 stars

The express train runs from the Bronx to
Photo Credit: Flickr

The express train runs from the Bronx to Brooklyn. Riders gush about its speediness and reliability but chide its foul odors.

Chun M.:

"One of the most reliable train lines in NYC, the D train has been there for me in brightest day & darkest night (wait, isn't that the Green Lantern oath?), through thick & thin, in sickness & in health. No, I don't want to marry it, but ol' 'D'-pendable is always there like an old friend and we go back a loooong way."

E train: 79 reviews, 2.5 stars

The E train runs between Queens and lower
Photo Credit: Flickr / Stacker

The E train runs between Queens and lower Manhattan-- and never goes above ground. Riders blast the line for delays and overcrowding but love how fast it goes in Queens and admit that it's "not the worst train."

Niambi M. (4/5 stars):

"E train, you are my friend. You give me the space of an A/C train, but the electronic bells and whistles of the 4/5/6 trains. Unfortunately, you are often the train of choice for the strong-smelling nomadic community during the late night and early mornings. This ... is not aromatically enjoyable but everyone minds their own business, so ... yay?"

F train: 117 reviews, 2.5 stars

The F train runs between Queens and Brooklyn.
Photo Credit: Flickr / Brian

The F train runs between Queens and Brooklyn. Riders hate the crowds, bunching-up of trains and delays, but they give the line props for convenience and say it's more reliable than the E train.

Kirsten B. (2 stars):

"Why is the F train called the 'F' train, is something you may have wondered. But if you've wondered this, you have not taken the F train during rush hour, on the weekend, or late at night. Because if you have taken the F train during rush hour, on the weekend, or late at night you'll have said various F-words in your head countless times, wishing you could scream them out loud every so often."

G train: 142 reviews, 2.5 stars

The G train runs strictly between Brooklyn and
Photo Credit: MTA

The G train runs strictly between Brooklyn and Queens. Reviewers say the service is so miserable that they are better off walking between the two boroughs -- while others say it's an interesting and unique line.

Max T. (3/5 stars):

"This train is underrated and misunderstood. The G is almost always on-time, partially BECAUSE it doesn't enter Manhattan and deal with merging with a mess of other routes. It only shares tracks with one other line for a fairly small portion of its route, and the spacing is wide enough that it doesn't have congestion or bunching issues."

L train: 190 reviews, 3 stars

The subway's most modern line -- and also
Photo Credit: YouTube / Dj Hammers

The subway's most modern line -- and also most synonymous with Brooklyn -- runs between there and Manhattan. Riders say they feel like a sardine and hate on the hipsters, but they also say it's clean and comes every few minutes.

Nate B. (3/5 stars):

"Endlessly irritating.
Reasonably punctual.
Ceaselessly amusing.
Typically running, unless it's not."

M train: 45 reviews, 3 stars

The M train runs through Brooklyn, Manhattan and
Photo Credit: Flickr / Michael Tapp

The M train runs through Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens. Commuters rip it for being unreliable and not running often, but they praise it as a way to avoid L train riders.

Coty S. (3/5 stars):

"Sometimes, I used to take the M train home just for that 'above ground' experience. And avoiding the rich kids on the L train. Since being below ground for a few hours a day makes me feel kind of gross."

N train: 102 reviews, 3 stars

The N trains runs between Brooklyn and Queens,
Photo Credit: Flickr / Flowizm

The N trains runs between Brooklyn and Queens, going through Manhattan. Subway riders love its clean, new cars, clear announcements, and that the line is an express alternative to the R train. They dislike it for skipping stops in Astoria.

Miguel D. (4/5 stars):

"I feel like I'm cheating on the D train every time I catch you on the transfer at Atlantic Ave, but damn it, you do the job and you do it well."

Q train: 77 reviews, 3.5 stars

The Q train runs between Brooklyn and Queens,
Photo Credit: Flickr / Waywuwei

The Q train runs between Brooklyn and Queens, going through Manhattan. Riders praise its reliability, cleanliness and speed, but they say it's often delayed by train traffic and that there are too many rats. Some of the gushing reviews could pass as love letters.

Chelsea D. (5/5):

Proving that you can spell Q without u, every single day. The Q train is obviously the best part of the yellow line, what with it being express and all.

R train: 78 reviews, 2 stars

The R train runs local between Brooklyn and
Photo Credit: Flickr / pamhule

The R train runs local between Brooklyn and Queens, traveling through Manhattan. Commuters say it's the worst line, the slowest and most unreliable, but they admit it's easy to get a seat and read a book on the line's odyssey through the city.

Kevin X. (1/5):

"There comes a time in life where this train feels like it's taking forever to come, and that's what we call the 'R' train. The 'R' train is literally one of the worst subway lines in NYC."

J Train: 32 reviews, 3 stars

The J train runs express and local from
Photo Credit: YouTube / Dj Hammers

The J train runs express and local from Queens to lower Manhattan, passing through northern Brooklyn. Riders dislike the hard-to-hear subway announcements, the unreliability of the line and platform waits. They like the scenic views from the elevated line going between Manhattan and Brooklyn and say it's convenient to be able to go from northern Brooklyn to lower Manhattan.

Mad D. (5/5):

"Every time I get on the J train, I feel like I'm transported back to the 1970s.
It's the perfect place to get stabbed.
It's the perfect place for a horror movie.
I feel like I'm in the 'Warriors.'
You get to talk about it to other people and act like a condescending New Yorker (which we all love to do).
And, of course, it gives you all something to complain about! Every New Yorker's favorite pastime!
God bless the J train."

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