With much speculation and hype, the State of the Subways Report Card is the NYC transit equivalent of the State of the Union Address–with the former evoking just as much backlash in opinions from people with conviction as the latter. Nonetheless, the Straphangers Campaign has released their Summer 2014 version of the report card, complete with a mixed bag of surprises and ratings that challenge users’ preconceived notions of certain services. The big one this year: the 7 train tops the list of 19 services, while the C has moved on up from its nearly guaranteed position at the bottom of the barrel to the glorious rank of 18.
As jejune as the term “report card” might sound, the Campaign includes a full body analysis, detailing statistics based on several criteria, including frequency of service, reliability of service (the normalcy of the intervals between trains), the chance of getting a seat, car cleanliness, the quality of in-car announcements, and train breakdowns. The shorthand rankings are based on the dollar value of each line, with a maximum value of $2.50, a single ride fare.
The 7 comes closest with a value of $2.00, while the 2 trundles in last place with $1.30. Notably excluded from the MetroCard rankings is the G train, as the MTA does not compile full ridership statistics for its service. Straphangers does offer a comprehensive breakdown (no pun intended) of the service, for those of you who still wish to gripe about the only major train not to run through Manhattan. Other notable finds include the 6 train having a remarkable AM rush headway of 2.5 minutes and below average cleanliness on the N.
Founded in 1979 by the New York Public Interest Research Group, the Straphangers Campaign has been an instrumental think tank and advocacy group for all things transit in NYC. Their (almost) annual reports have helped riders better understand the nature of their lines since 1997. You can also thank them for lobbying for free transfers between the Subway and buses, which the MTA approved in the same year. Straphangers has been instrumental in many other major improvements seen throughout the system in the last two decades, and has been attributed in helping increase ridership to its highest levels since the 1940s. View their full report card.