This is the second year in a row Straphangers Campaign has named the 7 train the best in the city, and gave the line a $2.15 rating in 2015. The 7 train has taken first place eight times times since the organization started rating the lines in 1997.
“The B and 5 are bottom feeders,” Straphangers attorney Gene Russianoff said at a press conference near City Hall on Thursday to announce the results.
Straphangers rates the lines on amount and dependability of service and comfort and usability using a variety of factors from MTA data.
Other key findings include breakdowns, with the E train having the best and the C train having the worst record. F train riders have the best chance of getting a seat and E train riders have the worst. The 6 and 7 trains run every two-and-a-half minutes during the morning rush, while B, C and M riders can wait up to 10 minutes.
The D, J, Z and L line were the most regular line, while the 5 is the most irregular, according to the report. The 2, 4, 5 E and N lines scored perfectly for announcements, while the B line ranked last, missing or inaudible announcements 23 percent of the time.
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“I think the MTA would say they’re doing well with what they have with a challenging fleet,” Russianoff told Metro. “They make budget decisions to provide the best service they can, which is not the best service it could be.”
MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz said the transit authority agrees with Straphangers with the need for a fully funded capital program.
“However, as is the case every year, the Straphangers report offers nothing that isn’t already available on our website,” Ortiz said. “The MTA has invested a lot of effort in communicating performance measures publicly and reporting in a transparent and timely manner, yet the Straphangers Campaign has not taken advantage of these innovations, new tools, and new data sources.”
The MTA also disagreed with Straphangers’ finding that F , 7 and R train riders have the best chance of getting a seat, and said the B trains rank lower on service because the B sees half the service of the 6 train, and the 5 trains ranks lower due to repair work.
The MTA also said Straphangers uses outdated data from 2014 to determine breakdowns, and the July 2015 breakdown rate improved by 2.5 percent over the previous year.
Maria Simbana, a 28-year-old 7 train rider from Queens said that her line has been late and overcrowded in the mornings since school started.
"You have to get [there] early to get anywhere. Besides that it's good," Simbana said.
"The train is ok, but they need to clean the tracks because there's always garbage and it smells,” said B train rider Chen Meng, 24. “The train is acceptable and if you want to be early so where you have to arrive earlier to catch it, delays always happen no matter what train.”
"When I take it [the 5] it's fine, it's not bad. No bad delays on that line, but I also take the J and they say it's one of the best, but it isn't true, said Tijuana Booth, 47, from Brooklyn.
The 7 train cars are between 1 and 30 years old, according to MTA data. B trains are between 26 and 29 years old and 5 trains are 12 to 15 years old.
A complete line-by-line analysis of how each subway line performed is available on the Straphangers website.
Additional reporting by Karina E. Cuevas.