By Philip Newman
The Straphangers Campaign has bestowed its best subway award on the No.7 line for the eighth time since the transit advocacy agency began rating the subways 17 years ago.
Far down in the ratings were the No. 5 and the B trains.
The No.7 was ranked best in the system on frequency of service and subway car cleanliness and it also performed above average on two other measures: delays caused by mechanical breakdowns and seat availability at the most crowded point in rush hours, the riders advocacy group said.
Last week the Citizens Budget Commission had ranked the No. 7 the worst line in the city.
“All told, the 7 has been the most frequent top performer among subway lines, placing first eight times over 17 years,” the Straphangers said.
The No.7 did not get an even higher rating because it performed below average in regularity of service and and subway car announcements.
The No.7 runs from Flushing Main Street in Queens to its new terminus at 11th Avenue and 34th Street. Until Sept.13, the No.7 ended its trip at Times Square.
“The 5 and the B have been ‘bottom feeders for most of their modern careers,” said Gene Russianoff, attorney for the Straphangers. “The B rated worst in 1997, 1999 and 2015.
“Passengers on the top lines – such as the 1, 6, 7, E, J/Z and L—hands down get a much better ride for their MetroCard than those on its worst, such as the 5 , C, M or R” Russianoff said. “Disparities abound. Some lines stink; others just need work.”
The 5 operates between Flatbush Avenue at Brookyn College in Brooklyn and Eastchester-Dyer Avenue in the Bronx.
“The 5 performed with the worst regularity of service and was below average on two other measures : delays caused by mechanical breakdowns and seat availability during rush hours,” the report said. The line avoided a lower rating because it tied for best in the system on subway car announcements and performed near average on frequency of scheduled service.
The B performed below average on three measures: amount of scheduled service, delays caused by mechanical breakdowns, and subway car announcements. But the line was rated above average on subway car cleanliness, regularity of service and seat availability during rush hour.
The car breakdown rate rose by 11 percent in the last half of 2014 with the F, N and Q declining in service and the E, G and J/Z improving.
The E had the best record of breakdowns caused by car mechanical failures, while the C was the worst.
The 7 line captured an astounding 98 percent score for cleanliness, while the best chance of getting a seat was on the F and the worst on the E.
The 7 and 6 lines had the most frequent scheduled service with 2 ½ minute intervals between training during the morning rush.