2003-08-15 / Community

Report: No ‘A’ For A Line

By Tommy Hallissey
Report: No ‘A’ For A Line By Tommy Hallissey

Cars on the A line subway break down more often than the average line yet passengers are more likely to get a seat on the A, according to State of the Subways Report Card, issued by the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) Straphangers Campaign.

Analyzing MTA New York City Transit data from the second half of 2002, the Straphanger’s grade d each line based upon six categories: the amount of scheduled service and the regularity of train arrivals; mechanical failures of subway cars; chance of getting a seat at the most congested point; cleanliness of subway car floors and seats; and adequacy of announcements.

Taking this data the Straphangers translate it into a MetroCard Rating, ranging from 0 cents to $2.00, for 20 of the 22 subway lines. "Each of the different categories are weighted," said Neysa Pranger, Campaign Coordinator for the Straphanger Campaign. Due to the MTA changing some of the data issued this year, the Straphangers could not compare this year’s data to last year’s.

A perfec t score of $2.00 means that the subway line scored in the top 5 percent on the six measures of service. The highest score given was $1.30, which went to the L line that runs between Manhattan’s middle West Side and Canarsie, Brooklyn. The dubious distinction of worst subway line went to the 5 line, which runs between the northern Bronx and Flatbush, Brooklyn, with a score of 65 cents.

The A line, which operates in Rockaway, received luke-warm reviews, ranking 13 out of 20 subway lines with a MetroCard Rating of $1.00, which places the A in the 50th percentile. According to the State of the Subways Report Card, the A line is scheduled to arrive more often than most subway lines yet arrives with less regularity than the average line. Cars on the A break down more often than on the average line but passengers are more likely to get a seat on the A. Subway cars on the A line are dirtier than the average subway car, but announcements are given more frequently.

The Straphanger Campaign began in 1996, when the group affiliated with New York Public Interest Research Group, issued their first report on the New York City subway system. "Subways have gotten better in the last 6 years," said Pranger. But on an individual basis not all subway lines have continued to improve. "We can see lines go from best to worst and worst to best," said Pranger. The public advocacy group believes that they have an impact upon the subway system they rate. "We assist the Transit Authority in where they have to provide better service," said Pranger.

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