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Queens Chronicle

Straphangers give As to the J/Z line

Queens subways at top on annual report card; No. 2 falls to ‘C’ level

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Posted: Thursday, September 1, 2011 12:00 pm | Updated: 3:25 pm, Thu Sep 8, 2011.

Several Queens subway lines ranked near the top last week as the Straphangers Campaign issued its annual report card.

The top grades went to the J/Z line, which runs into Jamaica Center. The line was given a Metrocard rating of $1.45.

“[Riders] want short waits, trains that arrive regularly, a chance for a seat, a clean car and understandable announcements that tell them what they need to know,” said the annual State of the Subways report.

The No. 7, E and Q lines tied for second through fourth place at $1.35.

The Manhattan-Brooklyn C line, was the worst line for the third straight year, this time tying with the Manhattan-Brooklyn 2 train at the bottom for 2011.

The Straphangers Campaign is a division of the New York Public Interest Research Group. It also graded the performance of 20 lines on factors like delays caused by mechanical breakdowns.

“The J/Z system ranked the highest because it performs best in the system on regularity of service,” states the report. “It also performs above average on ... delays caused by mechanical breakdowns, seat availability at the most crowded point during rush hour and subway car announcements.”

The survey found the No. 2 to be worst on seat availability and second-worst for regularity of service. It also was below average on car cleanliness.

It did not finish lower because of above average scores in the amount of scheduled service, breakdown related delays and car announcements.

The C was the worst in the system for amount of service, mechanical breakdowns and announcements.

The G line was not rated because of the lack of reliable crowd statistics. But the report said the line and its cars are “the least clean in the system ... come much less often than most subway lines ... break down much more often than those on average lines.”

The M train also was not graded.

Elsewhere in Queens, the No. 7 line scored high marks for scheduling and few breakdowns, and had average cleanliness.

It also was the easiest place to get a seat during rush hour.

E train riders gave a perfect score for in-car announcements, and the line tied for the system’s cleanest, the report said. Seat availability was “much less likely,” however, and it arrives with less regularity. It also has fewer breakdown-related delays.

The Q also scored a perfect 100 percent for in-car announcements, placed high in seat availability and has cars that “break down much less often” than average.

On the F line, ranked seventh, a passenger is less likely to get a seat during rush hour. It had average scores for cleanliness, but was above average for announcements and breakdown-related delays.

Carmen Roman of Jamaica had just one complaint about her regular rides on the F line.

“The train is always clean,” she said, approaching the 179th Street station. “But the elevators in the station smell like urine.”

Thursaun Canton of Jamaica had no problems with service to and from Woodhaven Boulevard.

“I take the R and transfer to the M,” he said. “The service is good and there aren’t a lot of breakdowns.”

Sheldon Lezama of Brooklyn, who commutes to his job in Forest Hills, was not nearly as pleased with the R.

“If it’s in the station and you’re connecting from another train, they’ll just close the doors on you,” he said.

The Straphangers Campaign placed the R 13th in the survey. They said the line is scheduled to come less often than others, but arrives more regularly. Breakdown related delays occurred more often, and it was less clean.

The MTA had a positive outlook.

“We always appreciate and consider the Straphangers Campaign’s fun and unique take on subway and bus service,” said MTA spokeswoman Deidre Parker.

Welcome to the discussion.