Q train takes top subway honor

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Chris Hondros/Getty

New Yorkers love the Q train.

For the first time in more than a decade, the Q won the Straphangers Campaign’s “State of the Subways” report card this year – meaning it’s the best ride in town.

The Q stops by a lot of city hubs – ranging from near Park Slope on Seventh Avenue in Brooklyn to Union Square and Herald Square in Manhattan. It then winds up through the nicest parts of Midtown before heading out to Astoria.

“I take the subway from Avenue U, and I’m always on time to my office on 42nd Street,” David Saadia, 64, told Metro. “I don’t think I’ve ever been late.”

Also making the Q hip? After the N switched over to running local in Manhattan, the Q is now the swiftest way on that line to zoom through the city, hitting all express stops.

“Riders on the best line – the Q – have much more reliable cars, frequent service, subway car cleanliness and car announcements,” Straphangers Campaign attorney Gene Russianoff said.

For the report, released today, the trains are tested on the frequency of service, regularity of arrivals and cleanliness of subway car floors and seats.

Coming in after the Q were the 7, J and Z trains as the next best lines in the system.

The Q line, which last won top honors in 2001, tied for best on audible announcements and was above average for delays by mechanical breakdowns, seat availability and cleanliness.

Mary Williams, 30, a Brooklyn painter, told Metro she appreciates how the stops are digitally listed and announced.

“Even though the B is fast, it is always crowded,” she said. “This is much less crowded, which is great.”

According to the report, the Q is scheduled to come less often than other trains in the system — about every 6 minutes in the morning as opposed to the system average of 5 minutes — but arrives regularly about 79 percent of the time.

And Viviana García said the Q makes all the right stops.

“It goes to almost every stop in Manhattan,” she said. “The Q express on the weekends helps me beat the construction delays and changes, so I can get my day of fun in at Coney Island without too much trouble.”

In a statement, the MTA defended their subway service improvements, like FASTRACK maintenance and countdown clocks.

“While we appreciate the positive results of the Straphanger’s latest survey, those results do not tell the full story,” the MTA responded in a statement, adding that they think their committee reports offer a “more complete assessment.”

What’s the worst train in the city?

If the Q is the best subway line, what did the report deem as the worst in the city? The C line.

The Straphangers Campaign has ranked the C last six times in the past 15 years.

The C, which runs between East New York and Washington Heights, performed worst or next to worst on scheduled service, delays, cleanliness and announcements.

Brittney James, 20, told Metro she sometimes waits 20 minutes for a C train.

“I come from way uptown to downtown, and 20 minutes is too late,” she said.

Subway improvements

According to the Straphangers Campaign, cars broke down less often in the past year, and more announcements were actually understandable to riders’ ears.

A car breaks down about every 172,000 miles, according to the report, which is an improvement of 1.5 percent over last year, when cars broke down every 170,217 miles.

And subway announcements improved, from 87 percent being accurate and understandable to 90 percent.

However, car cleanliness declined from 94 percent of cars system wide rated clean to 90 percent clean.

Nadia Saleh and Amanda Barker contributed reporting.


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