q train subway

Well, Q train riders, we apparently are making our treks on the dirtiest subway line in the city, according to a new report by the Straphangers Campaign.

We also are less likely to get a seat on the Q than on other trains – but, on the bright side, the Q doesn’t break down as often as, say, the B, according to the report that used data from 2013 to assess 19 subway lines.

In the Straphanger Campaign’s 16th annual “State of the Subways Report Card,” the advocacy group takes a look at a number of issues on our trains, including breakdowns, cleanliness, and in-car announcements to assess what are the best, and worst, performing lines in the five boroughs.

The 7, which runs between Flushing in Queens to Times Square, was named the best subway line by the group, thanks to its frequency of service, few delays caused by mechanical breakdowns, and more seat availability.

As for the worst subway line? That honor goes to the not-so-illustrious 2 – which basically never has any seats and breaks down more often than other lines. The 2 operates between Brooklyn College and Wakefield in the Bronx.

When it comes to the Q (which tied with the B for the 13th best subway line and has been lauded and slammed by riders), its subway cars have become dirtier in recent years – as have the 1, 6, 7, E, and G. According to the report, the Q had 17 percent of its cars rated moderately or heavily dirty – a rate more than four times higher than the city average. The C and J/Z lines were named the cleanest lines, with just 4 percent of its cars being listed as moderately or heavily dirty.

While the Q’s car breakdown rate has worsened since the findings in the last report card, it still runs far better than other lines. The Q travels about 410,568 miles between delays caused by mechanical failures – compared to the citywide average of 153,382.

We all know how incoherently garbled some announcements sound on the subway – but this isn’t the case on the Q, which garnered a perfect performance for accurate and understandable in-car announcements. (The C line was the worst.)

The B, meanwhile, had more cars break down in 2013 than in the past and fared worse in this report than the previous one when it came to accurate and understandable in-car announcements. It did, however, improve when it came to car cleanliness.

“For riders, the subways can range from daily trips on a lucky 7 to being stuck with a terrible 2 – and everything in between” Gene Russianoff, Straphangers Campaign senior attorney, said in a press release. “Disparities abound and have come to define our city’s subways.”

If you feel like reading the full report, you can do so here.

Anna Gustafson

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  • Subway Stinker

    The reason why it is so hard to get a seat on the coney island bound Q during the P.M. rush is simple. Aside from a few passengers at Seventh Avenue, nobody gets off until at least Church Avenue. All along the route the Q picks up riders, esp. at DeKalb and Atlantic, filling up already overcrowded cars. This is reflection of employment patterns and demographics. There are two things the Transit Authority could do to make life on the Q more bearable, first increase frequency of service and second, run the B train 24/7 instead of the tepid part time service we now endure. This would improve things more than building fancy edifices like Fulton Street Transit Center.

  • Lady Deborah Moody

    I found both the B and Q ran better when the B was local.

    • Horatio Caine, CSI Miami

      Lady Moody, true, but the Express B from Sheepshead Bay to Prospect Park is a sweet ride. I would not want to see it Localized, but instead add more Q service.

  • elaine louey

    Dirty” Or Dirrty?

  • guest

    Thats why I take a long hard look down on the seat before I sit down, to see how likely that a homeless person was just sitting there, or more realistically, how dirty the homeless person who was just sitting there left the seat, because 99% chance one was there before the seat was cleaned (are they ever even cleaned?).

    Thats also why I try to avoid my flesh touching anything at all, poles, the seats, anything, while on the subway. And when I get home after taking the subway I dust everything off before putting it away, and try to avoid sitting on my own furniture at all costs with the clothes I had on.

    You might think its excessive, but when I personally get on a train cart and see a filthy disgusting, feces ridden homeless person sitting/sleeping on a train, and then getting up and leaving the filthy seat for any unsuspecting rider to sit on, all precautions must be taken.

    Its boggles my mind when people just sit anywhere. Some of the residue on those seats makes it completely worth standing an hour or however long on the way to the city to avoid it.

    • BayResident

      My mother always took the same precautions you described, and usually opted to not sit on the subway at all.

      While I understand the psychological aspect of not wanting to sit somewhere that someone far less sanitary than you has previously sat, I don’t quite understand what you think will happen if you come home and sit down on the couch in the same pants you sat on the subway in?

      I have been taking the subway for about 15 years now and don’t think twice about sitting down on my couch for a few minutes to take my shoes off and relax when I get home. Am I missing something? Have I already contracted some dangerous disease that I am not aware of? Or are your habits (any my mom’s) purely psychological?

      Please don’t take offense to my questions as a purely psychological reasoning is certainly good enough for an individual to do certain things. There are things I do just for piece of mind too. I’m only asking these questions because I would like to know if there is something you know about that I too should be fearing after 15 years?

      • Guest

        Its not about contracting a dangerous disease. I guess you can say it is a psychological thing. If I sat down on a dirty seat, I dont want to potentially transfer/rub off any residue on my couch which I’m sitting on shirtless or relaxed clothing most of the time.

        I dont for a second think I’m avoiding potentially transferring the plague to my couch or anything, I’d just rather keep the inside of my house pure of the train cars contents if I can help it.

        • BayResident

          Fair enough and quite logical. Appreciate the response. I guess I was just always intrigued by my mother making it seem like the end of the world if I sat on her couch without changing first even though my world never ended when I did the same at my house. :)

          But I can totally respect the general desire for cleanliness.

          • http://www.mybrooklyn.com/ MyBrooklyn

            Guys I found your conversation amusing.. Thank you

    • ObsessionsRUs

      I’ve sat in subway seats my whole life. I’ve somehow miraculously, unbelievably, survived.

      The modern day obsession with germ-free environments will backfire. You will become more susceptible to illness because your body is unaccustomed to germs

      • Gandon

        Next time rub all your limbs and flesh nice and good on a subway seat, preferably right after a homeless guy pisses on himself in it, so you can get that quality quarantine to germs.

        • Subway Stinker

          Your sarcastic tone notwithstanding, Obsessionist is scientifically correct. Germ free means Germ vulnerable. You are better off with mild exposure. Didn’t you read or see HGWells’ War of the Worlds.? A sci fi classic but based in Science Fact.

    • nauticalstar

      I avoid sitting in the 2 seaters by the doors that go between cars because the homeless and the crazies tend to favor those seats.

      • Jimmy

        Why dont you just move somewhere else to avoid taking the subway.

  • nolastname

    Seems there are a lot of weakling pigs commuting from Sheepshead Bay and Gravesend along this line. They can’t carry their empty coffee cup/soda can/alcohol beverage or breakfast and newspapers to the subway garbage. The commute back home is just as messy. Avenue W and Gravesend have no trash cans and it is a pig stye.

  • Georgia

    This Q train was always a mess, like we are all saying coffee cups, wrappings from candy, newspapers on the floor well people just don’t care. I was on the Q last week and their was a slice of pizza under the seat turned upside down now is that necessary?? disgusting. I have noticed another thing when I am at the Coney Island station they have 3 minuets to sweep the train before it leaves. The MTA must give more time for the worker to clean up the proper way. Some Q and B trains you can not even look out the window. Remember its not like it used to be when people took pride when takeing the train or even the bus. Plus the Brighton line that the Q & B are on is overcrowdered.

  • ResponsibilityRus

    As usual, “somebody else” will be to blame. The fault is ours. If our train is dirty it is OUR fault. Repeat after me, it is not somebody else, it is not somebody else, it is not somebody else.

    • Alex

      I have never dropped a single piece of trash on any train in my life.
      Why is it my fault and I should take the blame?

      • Jimmy

        Alex look at our pawltry household income here in South Btooklyn, when compared to neighborhoods in Westchester, Long Island or New Jersey. Shame on you NYC for forcing us to ride through Botswana on our way to work, where the Blacks cause 90% of the mess. Give us atleast a comparable household income as other posh communities.

        • Bob

          Sheepshead is full of Russians, who are the same type of animals or possibly worse than the blacks are. I need not remind anyone of MH17 or the fallout shelter signs, which we see on older apartment buildings.

      • nolastname

        See something say something can be very dangerous in this case. Metro litterbugs – do you say anythingLittering: What Would You Do? – ABC News
        abcnews.go.com › What Would You Do?
        ABC News
        Feb 22, 2008 – The Litterbug From Hell. … were torn between a desire to confront the litterbug and concern for the safety of their son … A Female Litterbug … PHOTO: A camera mounted on the front of the train captures the moments when two.

  • Bikerchick

    The Q train is absolutely disgusting. I totally agree having been riding it since the 80′s it only gets worse. People are pigs is all it comes down to. If you are going to stink up the train with whatever you are eating, take your garbage with you instead of putting it under your seat. How hard is it people to put it in the trash can that you have to pass as you head for the stairs? Take your bottles and cans and cups to. It is not rocket science.

    • Bob

      People leave trash behind in a restaurant. Ehy dont you get a job Russian scum. Our co.munity is full of Russian men, who stay at home and force their women to work for them. Go drive a cab lowlife.

    • Alex

      Bikerchick,
      you explained it yourself perfectly.
      People are just pigs, its very simple.
      I believe pigs are even cleaner

      • http://www.mybrooklyn.com/ MyBrooklyn

        Well pigs also are corrupt and arrogant savages

  • Subway Stinker

    One of the biggest sources of trash and track fire danger has got to be those two free so-called newspapers METRO and a.m.New York. They are scattered all over the subway platforms, end up on the tracks and all the subway riding PIGS read the papers and then leave them on the seats. I do my small part and when I get to my stop, I will take them off and into the Garbage Can but I wonder why the Transit Authority does not bill the publications for litter removal?

    • nolastname

      Because the city does not need the money. lol I wonder about all the signs on poles. Signs like “buy you car”, “cash for your house”, “man with van”and “Karate” are not fined. There is so much $ in quality of life violations but no one in our council seems to care…I guess no political forces live in our area.

      • Subway Stinker

        Dear Atlastnoname, you are 100 % right about those illegal signs hanging from poles. DSNY should task its Police to remove and track down the violators and issue big fines. Have you heard of an ECB summons? Let us crack down for better “quality of life”, or its that now politically incorrect?

        • guy

          Unless the fines are ridiculously large it would probably cost more to issue and collect those fines than the actual money collected. Lots of people wouldn’t even pay and again going after them would cost more. I wish the city would streamline the system to pay minor fines and even some bigger ones. It would help people by saving time and stress and it would help the city by collecting more revenue.

          • nolastname

            It is illegal for any person to paste, post, paint, print, nail or attach or affixby any

            means whatsoever any handbill, poster, notice, sign, advertisement, sticker or

            other printed material upon any curb, gutter, flagstone, tree, lamppost, awning

            post, telegraph pole, telephone pole, public utility pole, public garbage bin, bus

            shelter, bridge, elevated train structure, highway fence, barrel, box, parking

            meter, mailbox, traffic control device, traffic stanchion, traffic sign (including

            pole), tree box, tree pit protection device, bench, traffic barrier, hydrant or other

            similar public item on any street. There is a rebuttable presumption that the

            person whose name, telephone number, or other identifying information appears

            on any handbill, poster, notice, sign, advertisement, sticker, or other printed

            material on any item or structure is in violation. Every handbill, poster, notice,

            sign, advertisement, sticker or other printed material shall be deemed a separate

            violation. Anyone found to have violated this provision, in addition to any

            penalty imposed, shall also be responsible for the cost of the removal of the

            unauthorized postings.

            §10-119, §10-121(a-e, g) FINE: $75-$200 – 1stOffense

            $150-$300 – 2nd& Subsequent Offenses

            Posting on Trees

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  • Rena

    Many have already commented on the schedule and delays, but my biggest concern is the smell. Why does the Q train smell like a gym bag with a week’s worth of well used workout gear? I get on at Atlantic everyday after work and it’s the same every time. The subway platform actually smells better than the train. The subway platform! I also take the B and there’s no odor issue. I would assume it’s largely the same ridership, therefore it must be an issue with the MTA and how they “clean” or not the Q.

  • Transitfan

    One thing this article doesn’t mention is that the trains switch at Astoria Ditmars. Some trains become (N)’s and the fleet is also shared with the N.

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