Commuters question Q’s top ranking in subway contest

The Q train is as good as it gets according to transit advocates — but commuters beg to differ.
CNG / Ben Muessig

Longtime Q train riders are disputing a transit advocacy group’s decision to name the subway line the king of the rails last week, claiming that the Brighton local is far from perfect.

The Straphangers Campaign claims the Q’s frequent in-car announcements, low breakdown rates, and clean cars helped it beat out the J, Z, and the six-time champion 7 train to win the title of best subway line in the system — but commuters say the line’s weekend service woes mean it can’t be trusted.

In fact, some commuters have resorted to riding their bicycles on weekends because the train has repeatedly left them waiting, or not run at all.

“It’s really annoying on the weekends,” said the commuter-turned-Saturday-and-Sunday-cyclist Melissa Rocha. “The service is always changing.”

Still, Straphangers Campaign lawyer Gene Russianoff says Q train riders are lucky compared to other unfortunate commuters.

“If you ride the Q, you’re going to get a much better ride than on the C or the R,” Russianoff said.

The Q ranked far higher than the line’s bitter yellow rivals, the R and N lines, which came in 10th and 11th, respectively, out of 19 lines.

But the transit group saw a bit of a silver-lining in the R train: the Bay Ridge route was tops in the system for the odds of snagging an open seat — though it was near the bottom in terms of its breakdown rate.

The lowly C train, which until recently ran on subway cars that dated to 1964, was voted the worst line in the system for the fourth year in a row, an ignominious distinction previously thought to be impossible.

Reach reporter Eli Rosenberg at erosenberg@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2531. And follow him at twitter.com/emrosenberg.

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