Another year has come and gone, and with the end of 2016 comes Straphangers’ State of the Subway report card. (h/t Gothamist) Predictably, there’s a fair bit of bad news in the report, but there’s also some surprisingly good news—namely, that there was a three-way tie for the best subway line of 2016. Yep, you read that right: three subways had good enough service this year to rise to the top of the heap. (Straphangers measures performance along a MetroCard rating system—the top three received a $2.05 rating.)
Those lines were the 7, the 1, and—good news, Williamsburgers!—the L, though as we all know, that’s soon to change. Here’s why each one ranked so highly, per Straphangers:
1. The 1 is less crowded and cleaner than the average subway line
2. The 7 had less frequent subway car breakdowns than the average subway line and the greatest percentage of clean subway car interiors.
3. The L had a nearly perfect score for accurate and understandable subway car announcements.
Not everything about those lines is perfect, of course—the L is more crowded than the average subway line (duh), and breaks down more regularly; in-car announcements on the 1 are not as clear as on other lines—but hey, it’s something.
As for the worst, two lines tied in crappiness: the 5 and the A. Both lines perform poorly when it comes to providing regular service; additionally, the 5 is really crowded, and the A breaks down more frequently than other lines.
Here are some of the report’s other findings:
- System-wide regularity worsened, as did the rate at which subway cars broke down.
- The train that performed the best, in terms of regular service: the G—take that, haters.
- The most crowded line is the 4, as anyone who’s ridden it during the morning rush hour will tell you.
- The 7 is the cleanest line, while the Q is the dirtiest, with about 15 percent of its cars ranked as “moderately” or “heavily” dirty.
So what can we conclude about the state of the subways from this report? Well, for all of the transit system’s faults, it could always be worse. Onward to 2017, then!
- State of the Subways Report Card [Straphangers]