The Subway’s Report Card: 7 Line Best All-Around, The 2 Line Gets an F

(Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

(Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

How did your subway line fare?

Today, Straphangers Campaign released its 16th annual subway report card and, as usual, its findings on 2013 service were interesting to say the least.

The report card, created in 1997, uses MTA transit data to measure frequency of service, regularity of train arrivals, mechanical failures, chance of getting a seat during rush hour, cleanliness and in-car announcements.

Gene Russianoff, the Straphangers Campaign senior attorney, summarized his findings at a press conference this morning. “For riders, the subways can range from daily trips on a lucky 7 to being stuck with a terrible 2 and everything in between,” he said.

Even though it’s a no-show on many weekends (14 this year so far), the 7-line came out top, the first time since 2010. It ranked first on frequency of service, seat availability and car cleanliness. It was also the line that broke down the least. Straphangers granted it a MetroCard Rating of $2.00.

Ever since the report card was created in 1997, the 7-line has been the top performer seven times in 16 years. Meanwhile, until this year, the 2-line had only once before received the worst grade, back in 2011. During past years, the worst performer had been the C-line, a tough one to beat. Yet this time it was the 2 that performed below average on regularity of service, delays and seat availability. It has great in-car announcements and is one of the cleanest lines, though. Straphangers settled on a $1.30 MetroCard Rating.

The report also found that cars break down 11.2 percent more than before, but are now cleaner and with better announcements.

Other findings included the fact that the C is the most likely to break down, the Q is the dirtiest line and the R is most probable to have available seats. The 6 and 7-lines have two-minute intervals between them while the C runs at nine minute intervals. The most irregular line is the 5 and the C is the worst for incomprehensible announcements.

The problematic G line was not rated, as it does not enter Manhattan.

Mr. Russianoff said he expects mixed reactions from subway riders. “One thing I like about the service is that not everybody agrees with us. You go to a party and someone will say ‘what idiot thought the 7 was the best line in the system?’ Or ‘I ride the 2 and its not so bad.’ But we give this a fair look–not just to opinions but to transit authority’s official statistics.”

Mr. Russianoff also mentioned that today’s biggest challenge was the ever-growing ridership. “We have this gigantic flood of new riders, the highest ridership since the 1940s,” he said.

You can say that again.