Ah, the F train. You know, loyal readers, that I’ve been waiting for this Rider Report Card to show up for a while. The F, you see, the latest recipient of a C-minus grade, is a frequent topic around here.
One of the longest – and slowest – routes in the system, the F starts out at Coney Island and runs, as we know, local, painfully, slowly local up the Culver Line and through Brooklyn. It crosses into Manhattan via the Rutgers St. tunnel before taking the local route up 6th Ave. It crosses into Queens via the 63rd St tunnel with a stop on Roosevelt Island before running express out to 179th St. in Jamaica via Queens Boulevard.
For months, the F has been the focus of Gary Reilly’s advocacy work. With unused express tracks from Jay St on south, the F rides along one of the most underused and overcrowded sections of track in New York City. We’ve tried for months to convince NYCT to run the F as an express and the V as a local out to Church Ave., but four years of construction on the Gowanus Viaduct has rendered this opporunity moot. Instead we’ll just suffer the ails of an overcrowded train.
Gary and I aren’t the only ones bemoaning the F. The 13,000 riders who gave the train a C-minus are right there along with us, and on the top of the list of complains are those same two issues an F express would alleviate: The trains are too crowded and too slow, and they don’t arrive often enough. No kidding.
This time, however, the fix will be easy enough, and NYCT knows it. When the construction is completed, riders on this line will reportedly enjoy express service through parts of Brooklyn. Hopefully, with some trains running express through rapidly-growing population centers in Carroll Garden, Park Slope and Kensington, this line, well under capacity, will see an increase in service across the board as well.
Meanwhile, as to the other top complaints – station quality and the quality of announcements – the F has a long way to go. Old cars with aging public address systems do not lend themselves to intelligible announcements, and with service changes planned for the next few years, this problem will only get worse before it gets better.
What follows are the top ten complaints for another C-minus grade joining a long line of mediocre grades. After the jump, the full grade breakdown.
- Reasonable wait times for trains
- Adequate room on board at rush hour
- Minimal delays during trips
- Station announcements that are easy to hear
- Train announcements that are easy to hear
- Cleanliness of stations
- Cleanliness of subway cars
- Sense of security in stations
- Station announcements that are informative
- Sense of security on trains
|Rider Ratings of F Service||2007 Grade|
|Minimal delays during trips||C-|
|Reasonable wait times for trains||C-|
|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||D+|
|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||C-|
|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-|