Regular Riders Skeptical After Straphangers Campaign Names 7 Line as Best in System

The annual "State of the Subways" report is out, listing the best and worst lines, but many riders on the line ranked tops in the city are skeptical to say the least. NY1's Jose Martinez filed the following report.

The 7 train is number 1. Just not to many of its beleaguered riders.

"I don't think so," said one 7 train rider.

"There's a lot of signal malfunctions, and it's always packed," said another. "I'm really surprised that it got awarded that, honestly."

But it did, named the MTA's best line for the second straight year in the Straphangers Campaign's "State of the Subways" report.

"Not everyone's going to agree with us, particularly many number 7 train riders who have been bedeviled in the last year or so by major repairs," said Gene Russianoff of Straphangers Campaign. "They're installing computerized signals on the line, which has made weekend commuting on the 7 hell."

In making its rankings, the report used MTA data on each line, including seat availability, cleanliness, how long riders wait for trains and clarity of announcements.

The 7 line was tops in cleanliness and scheduled service.

"Trains come along every two to three minutes, whereas for people who are on other lines, they know that it's a lot longer wait," Russianoff said.

On the other hand, the chronically overcrowded 5 train and the B, which doesn't run late nights or weekends, were judged the worst.

"What the findings show is that if you're on one of the top lines like the 7, hands down, you get more for your MetroCard money than if you're riding the 5 or the B," Russianoff said.

The MTA disputes some of the findings, but the 7 is one of the lines it's been focusing on. The 7 is one of three lines in the system, along with the 6 and the F, where the MTA is trying to move trains out of stations more quickly in an effort to reduce platform overcrowding.

While there's a sparkling new station at the Manhattan end of the line, Queens transit advocates are not singing the praises of the 7 train.

"We have overcrowding where you can't get on the train for two or three trains," said Melissa Orlando of 7 Train Blues. "We have delays probably every other day. There are very few days when there's not actually an issue."

Hours after the report was released, a broken rail halted service on the 7. So much for a victory celebration.

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