G is a broke down, dirty train
By Mike McLaughlin
July 31, 2008
The results are in and the G train is off the charts — in the wrong direction.
An annual report of subway service by the Straphangers Campaign ranked the perennial whipping boy of mass transit, the G line, dead last in two pivotal categories — cleanliness and breakdowns — preserving its horrific reputation for another year.
The Straphangers report judged the lines on scores ranging from zero to $2, the price of a single ride on city buses and trains.
The L was considered the best value, though only worth $1.40, and the W train was considered the worst, worth just $0.70.
The G train did not receive a cash evaluation because the Straphangers had incomplete rush-hour ridership statistics — but nonetheless, the Smith-Ninth Street to Queens line fulfilled its underperforming reputation by getting the lowest ranking in two categories — the frequency of breakdowns and dirty conditions of its cabins.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority was hard pressed to explain why cars on the G line are prone to breaking down more than other trains.
“We have no explanation because we run the same cars on many tracks,” said Charles Seaton, a spokesman for New York City Transit, the branch of the MTA overseeing city buses and subways.
The four-car-long G, the only train in the system that never enters Manhattan, was also with the dregs of the report for its PA system and the scheduled frequency of trains.
For G-train riders, the findings confirm their suspicions that their commute stinks.
“It’s definitely dirty … it’s totally one of the worst,” said Christy Harrison, in the Clinton-Washington station on Tuesday night.
On the bright side, the G was fourth in the regularity of service, meaning that its operators do a good job of sticking to its sporadic schedule.
But that was little comfort for people who don’t like the long waits.
“My biggest complaint is that comes too infrequently,” said Jessica Dwin on the Hoyt Schermerhorn platform.