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Why the 7 Train Is the Best in the City

 NPIRG staff attorney Gene Russianoff announced the group's annual subway rankings outside the R train in Lower Manhattan on July 30, 2014.
NPIRG staff attorney Gene Russianoff announced the group's annual subway rankings outside the R train in Lower Manhattan on July 30, 2014.
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DNAinfo/Colby Hamilton

CIVIC CENTER — Straphangers on the 7 train are riding high.

That's according to this year’s subway line ranking released by the New York Public Interest Research Group's Straphangers Campaign on Wednesday.

The northern Queens shuttle to Midtown scored $2.00 of a possible $2.50 subway ride, said Gene Russianoff, NYPIRG’s staff attorney.

The 7 line was followed by the 1 train, which scored $1.80, while three lines — the L, J/Z and E trains — tied for third with $1.75 a piece.

The lowly 2 train was ranked the worst train in the city at $1.30, Russianoff said, followed by another three-way tie for second to last between the 5, A and C trains at $1.35.

“People who ride the 7 get a much better deal than 2 train riders,” Russianoff said.

Each line was scored in six categories: scheduled amount of service, percent of trains arriving regularly, how often trains break down, the chance of getting a seat, cleanliness and adequacy of in-car announcements, based on data provided by the MTA.

The 7 train, which has ranked the highest seven times in the last 16 years, was tied for best service, and performed better than average in breakdowns, seat availability and regularity of service, Russianoff said.

The 2 train performed below average in regularity, delays and seat availability. But not everything is terrible on the 2, according to Russianoff: The Bronx-to-Brooklyn line tied for best in the system for train announcements.

The report also noted large disparities in how individual lines performed. For example, while the E train had the best record on delays caused by mechanical failures — once every 546,744 miles — the C train, which ranked last, broke down once every 58,859 miles.

Likewise, the 6 and 7 trains had the most scheduled service, running every two-and-a-half minutes during morning rush hours, while the C again came in last place, with riders waiting as long as 10 minutes in between trains during the morning commute.

The C also scored last place when it came to announcements, while five lines — the 2, 5, 6, E and Q trains — tied for first for having accurate and understandable announcements. That's a reflection, Russianoff said, of the improved systems installed on those lines.

“It was a bitterly fought contest between the 2 and the C for the bottom of the barrel,” Russianoff said.

The C train’s high marks for regularity of service and cleanliness kept it from reaching the lowest of the low, according to Russianoff.

In a statement, an MTA spokeswoman downplayed the report, saying the information presented by the Straphangers Campaign was already publicly available.

“Customers can go to our website at any time where the most up-to-date information and performance indicators on our subways are updated on a monthly basis — everything from quality of service, to cleanliness, to safety,” the spokeswoman said.

Russianoff responded by saying the MTA's information was far from user friendly, and that NYPIRG’s methods created an easily understood system for riders to be better informed about their subway lines.