The Red Train That Could: Report Puts 7 Line On Top

The red Queens train that "travels the world" has just gotten a prize for good behavior. The added trains that are being put on the No. 7 line to ease overcrowding on one of the City’s busiest lines may earn even higher marks from a straphanger’s group than it did in their last report card which named it the best line in the City.
The 7 line, which runs between Flushing and Times Square, and passes through an array of neighborhoods that reflect the international smorgasbord of Queens, got the top billing from the Straphanger’s Campaign. The independent transit watchdog surveyed the entire New York City subway system by using a formula developed in consultation with transportation experts.
The report looked at six measures of performance: the amount of scheduled service on a line; the regularity of service; the number of delays caused by mechanical failures of subway cars on the line; the chance of getting a seat at the most congested point on a line; the cleanliness of the cars; and the adequacy of in-car announcements.
The group then gave a token rating to each line with $1.50 — the cost of a fare — being the highest possible rating. The 7 line got $1.20, the top token rating in the City. In Queens the line with the lowest rating was given to the R train with a token rating of 60. The E train rated a 70, the N a 75, the F an a 85 and the A train a 70. The second place went to the L line at 90.
The 7 line won its rating because it is scheduled to come much more often than most subway lines — it has a 2.5 minute break between weekday a.m. rush hour trains compared to 6.1 system average. Its breakdowns are much less often than the average line —117,725 miles traveled between delays caused by mechanical failures compared to a system average of 72,271 miles.
The survey showed that you are 40 percent more likely to get a seat on the 7 as compared to a system average of 31 percent. On cleanliness it rates a 90 percent of cars with "light or no interior dirtiness" as compared to a 63 percent system average. It also garnered a 74 percent of trains with correct announcements compared to a 65 percent system average.
With the arrival now of the added cars it appears the 7 line might score higher this year when the Straphangers Campaign conducts its 1998 report.

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