|Embargoed for Release:|
Wednesday, August 1, 2012, 11 a.m.
|For More Info: Gene Russianoff
(212) 349-6460 or (917) 575-9434
The NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign today issued its fifteenth annual State of the Subways Report Card, rating the Q as the best of 20 subway lines with a MetroCard Rating of $1.60 and the C the worst with a MetroCard rating of 85 cents. The ratings were based on official MTA New York City Transit data.
The Q was rated the best line for the first time since 2001.
The C has been rated worst six times in the fifteen years that the Straphangers Campaign has been issuing report cards. The C came in last in 2001, 2007, and 2009 through 2012.
System-wide, the report found improvement in two aspects of service, the rate of car breakdowns (improved a slight 1.5%) and car announcements (up 3.4%). There was a 4% drop in the cleanliness of subway cars. (Comparisons were not possible in three other measures the amount of scheduled service, the regularity of time between trains, and the level of crowding due to changes in their definitions by transit officials.)
The subways are a story of winners and losers, said Gene Russianoff, Straphangers Campaign senior attorney. Riders on the best line the Q have much more reliable cars, frequent service, subway car cleanliness and car announcements than riders on the worst line, the C. Sharp disparities among subway lines can be seen throughout the system.
The Report Card is based on an extensive review of official data on subway service, some of which has not been released before on a line-by-line basis. It includes detailed one-page profiles of 20 lines and a Straphangers Campaign MetroCard Rating.
The profiles show six measures of service, based on recent data from MTA New York City Transit, largely covering the last half of 2011. The measures are: the frequency of scheduled service; the regularity of train arrivals; mechanical failures of subway cars; chance of getting a seat at the most congested point; cleanliness of subway car floors and seats; and in-car announcements.
Russianoff noted that the reports MetroCard Ratings were a shorthand tool to compare lines and are based on a formula developed in consultation with independent transportation experts. A line could receive a rating of $2.25 if it scored, on average, in the top 10% on six measures.
The reports findings show the following picture of New York Citys 20 subway lines:
1. The best subway line in the city was the Q with a MetroCard Rating of $1.60. The Q ranked number one in the system for the first time since 2001. The Q ranked highest because it tied for best in the system on announcements and also performed above average on three measures: delays caused by mechanical breakdowns, seat availability at the most crowded point during rush hour, and subway car cleanliness. The line did not get a higher rating because it performed below average on the amount of scheduled service and average on regularity of service. The Q runs between Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue in Brooklyn and Astoria-Ditmars Boulevard in Queens.
2. For the fourth year in a row, the C was ranked the worst subway line, with a MetroCard Rating of 85 cents. The C line performed worst or next to worst in the system on four measures: amount of scheduled service, delays caused by mechanical breakdowns, subway car cleanliness and announcements. The line did not get a lower rating as it performed above average in the system on regularity of service and on chance of getting a seat at rush hour. The C operates between East New York in Brooklyn and Washington Heights in Manhattan.
3. System-wide, for twenty lines, we found the following on three of six measures we can compare over time: car breakdowns, car cleanliness and announcements. (We cannot compare the three remaining measures due to changes in definitions by New York City Transit.)
4. There are large disparities in how subway lines perform.
The full report can be found at www.straphangers.org/statesub12.