Well, sad to say, but that one B-minus grade was an aberration. The B train, the peak-hour conterpart to the Q in Brooklyn and the D in Manhattan, received its Rider Report Card today. As with many other trains, the results were less than stellar. The B took home a C-minus.
The B is a fairly popular train, and as part of my morning commute, it’s near and dear to my heart. One of the competitors during Yankee Stadium’s Great City Subway Race, the B runs local from Bedford Park Boulevard in the Bronx along the IND Concourse Line. In Manhattan, the train runs local along the 8th Ave. line to Columbus Circle and then express along the 6th Ave. line across the Manhattan Bridge. In Brooklyn, the B runs as an express along the BMT Brighton Line terminating at Brighton Beach. The B runs during the week and from 6 a.m. to about 9:30 p.m.
Snaking through three boroughs, the trains fill up in the morning, and the riders are not amused. The top ten problems, if you will:
- Minimal delays during trips
- Reasonable wait times for trains
- Adequate room on board at rush hour
- Courtesy and helpfulness of station personnel
- Station announcements that are informative
- Cleanliness of subway cars
- Comfortable temperature in subway cars
- Working elevators and escalators in stations
- Station announcements that are easy to hear
- Train announcements that are easy to hear
In all honesty, I’m a bit surprised by these results. Most notable are the train announcements in the 10 spot. I find the train announcement on the B train all but unintelligible. It’s impossible to hear or discern what the conductors are saying. This may be a problem stemming from the use of the 40-year-old R40 trains on the B line.
Otherwise, the top three spots as voted on by 2,630 B train passengers are right on. The trains often back up before the Manhattan Bridge and again before Columbus Circle. It’s often faster to walk from 7th Ave. and 53rd St. to Columbus Circle than to wait for the train traffic to clear up. Wait times are a hardly-stellar six minutes at rush hour, and until Rockefeller Center, space is scarce inside these cars.
For the MTA, this marks another poor grade in a long line of them, and again, the MTA is stuck. I’d love to see more service on the B train, but the shared tracks with the Q, D and C make that a near impossibility. It will be tough to upgrade the B.
As always, full grades after the jump.
|Rider Ratings of B Service||2007 Grade|
|Minimal delays during trips||C-|
|Reasonable wait times for trains||D+|
|Adequate room on board at rush hour||D+|
|Sense of security in stations||C|
|Sense of security on trains||C|
|Working elevators and escalators in stations||C-|
|Signs in stations that help riders find their way||C+|
|Signs in subway cars that help riders find their way||C|
|Cleanliness of stations||C-|
|Cleanliness of subway cars||C-|
|Station announcements that are easy to hear||D|
|Station announcements that are informative||D+|
|Train announcements that are easy to hear||D|
|Train announcements that are informative||D+|
|Lack of graffiti in stations||C+|
|Lack of graffiti in subway cars||C+|
|Lack of scratchitti in subway cars||D+|
|Courtesy and helpfulness of station personnel||C|
|Comfortable temperature in subway cars||C|
|Ease of use of subway turnstiles||B-|
|Availability of MetroCard Vending Machines||B-|