Southern Brooklyn

Q Train Ranked Best Subway Line In NYC

Source: Deaks760 / Flickr

The Q line was named the best train line in the city for the first time since 2001.

The Straphangers Campaign published its 15th Annual State of the Subways Report Card based on official MTA data from the last half of 2011. The Q train received top honors, while the B train was rated below average, and the C train was ranked the city’s worst.

The report measures factors such as seat availability during rush hour, number of delays and subway car cleanliness. The Q performed above average on all three and tied for first place on clarity and accuracy of announcements. The line performed below average on the amount of scheduled service and average on regularity of service.

The B line ranked near the bottom of the list, penalized for the amount of scheduled service, breakdown rates, announcements and cleanliness. It ranked above average for regularity of service and chance of getting a seat.

“While we appreciate the positive results of the Straphangers’ latest survey, those results do not tell the full story,” an MTA spokesperson said about the report. “We believe that NYC Transit’s Key Performance Indicators (KPI) methodology, reported monthly in the NYCT Committee Agenda, offers a fairer and more complete assessment of subway service by evaluating performance and conditions from the passengers’ point of view, as informed by customer surveys.”

The report can be seen here on the Straphangers website.

Comment policy


  1. Strappies’ analyses are good, but the way they rank each line is misleading. I like the analyses but do not care for the rankings

  2. the Q train seems to never come often enough at nights, and its usually packed, otherwise, it ain’t that bad. I think the N train is tons better… but even better are the 4, 5 and 6 trains IMO

  3. It is all about the loading guidelines. Of course the Lex must run like water since it is the only north-south East Side service in Manhattan

  4. during late night hours, all trains have 20 minute intervals. The Lexington Avenue trains are the most packed of them all.

  5. I take the Q train at night 3 days a week and it arrives at fairly consistent times. If you miss those times, that is when you have to wait 15-20 minutes. But if you know when to expect it, you’ll be fine. 

  6. I’d like to see a better coordination of Q vs. B service at the three express stops in Brooklyn, both AM rush and especially PM after rush.  If I catch a B at night, there is a 50/50 chance that the Q at Kings Hwy will be departing just as we arrive. Come on, Transit Authority, give your local riders a break.

  7. The air conditioning on the new Q trains, the R 168 model not pictured in this story, stink. They work but badly. On most hot days, they chill the air but not nearly as cool as the air conditioning on the older B trains.  The MTA should have written better specs for the design of the R 168 model trains. And yes, the 12 minute headway after the PM rush is awful and the Coney bound Qs are overloaded.

  8. Heh. There is no “R-168”, or at least not yet, anyhow.

    I assume you mean the new R-160 (LED signs + automated voice), and not the the old R-68 (orange + yellow bucket seats) that’s pictured.

    Additionally, I find the opposite of what you say is true. Generally, the AC on the R-160 is superior to the R-68. You’ll find the best evidence of this during off-peak hours in near empty cars: An R-160 can be freezing cold compared to the R-68. During peak hours on packed cars, it may be a different story due to the different venting configurations, but I still find it holds true.

    However, two different companies (Alstom & Kawasaki) made the R-160, and I believe the ones manufactured by Alstom are a bit lower quality, perhaps even when it comes to the AC. If some R-160’s are underperforming, it’s probably those (“R-160A”) cars.

  9. It runs pretty well except at night when you can drop dead waiting for it. Forget about sitting down at the evening rush if you get on it anywhere passed 14th Street, Southbound. I wish they would run the B on the weekend. Anyone know why they don’t? I have wondered this since forever.

  10. So true. During S/B evening rush, I’ve sat on the floor of the car when I couldn’t stand any longer. When I have time, I actually take a N/B uptown Q to 42nd or 57th at those hours just to cross over and get a seat coming back downtown


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