No. 7 train is named city’s best, but No. 2 at bottom of survey

By Philip Newman

For the seventh time in 16 years, the Straphangers Campaign has chosen the No. 7 train as the city’s best subway line.

The transit advocacy agency designated the No. 2 train the worst among 19 subway lines.

“For riders, the subways can range from daily trips on a lucky 7 to being stuck with a terrible 2,” said Gene Russianoff, the Straphangers Campaign senior attorney. “Disparities abound and have come to define our city’s subways.”

The No. 7 ranked highest because it performed above average on three measures: delays caused by mechanical breakdowns, seat availability at the most crowded point during rush hour and subway cleanliness.

The Straphangers said the No. 7 did not get a higher rating because it performed below average on regularity of service and subway car announcements.

The No. 7 runs between Times Square and Main Street-Flushing in Queens.

As for the No. 2, it was only the second time it had been rated worst. The No. 2 performed below average on three measures: regularity of service, delays caused by mechanical breakdowns and seat availability during rush hour.

The No. 2 did not get a lower rating as it tied for best in the system on car announcements and performed near average on subway car cleanliness and amount of scheduled service.

The No. 2 runs from Brooklyn College to Wakefield in the Bronx.

In other categories:

• The best chance of getting a seat at rush hour was the R train at 66 percent.

• The C and J/Z were the cleanest and the Q was the dirtiest.

• The Nos. 6 and 7 offered the most scheduled service with a 2 1/2-minute wait at rush hour.

• On scheduled announcements, the Nos. 2, 5 and 6 and E and Q lines had a perfect performance for accurate and understandable announcements. The C line was the worst with missing or garbled announcements 23 percent of the time.

• The E had the best record on delays caused by car mechanical failures — one every 546,744 miles. The C was worst with a breakdown rate nearly 10 miles higher: every 58,859 miles.

Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at timesledgernews@cnglocal.com or phone at 718-260-4536.