Every Brooklyn Subway Line Ranked

This is your worst train, Brooklyn. Down with the 2!

As some of you may have heard, yesterday, the Straphangers Campaign released their 16th Annual State of the Subways Report Card, which ranks all 19 subway lines based on things like wait time and cleanliness. Somehow, the 7 train came out on top, but guess what? The 7 train never touches Brooklyn. So, we combed through all the data to bring you all the Brooklyn-related stats.

How did they come up with the rankings? It’s all based on three factors: (1) amount of service, (2) dependability of service and (3) comfort and usability. So, here’s how all the lines that provide service to and from Brooklyn ranked. (Note: The G train was left out for a couple reasons, but we don’t need anyone to tell us that it’s in a terrible class of its own.)

19th Place: The 2 Train

According to the Straphangers Campaign, the 2 train comes in dead last for a wealth of reasons. Riders only have a 23% chance of getting a seat during rush hour, trains breakdown every 128,203 miles (compared to a system average of 153,382) and they arrive with regularity about 73% of the time.

16th Place: The A, C and 5 Trains

Between these three trains, you’re least likely to get a seat on the 5 train (31%), but there’s a 100% chance that announcements will be made clearly and correctly (good news for tourists!). Meanwhile, the C train ranks as one of the cleanest in the system (96% of cars have “light or no interior dirtiness”), but C trains breakdown every 58,000 miles and rank worst in the system for correct announcements at 77%. And finally, the A: You have a 44% chance of getting a seat during rush hour and only about 82% of announcements are correct. But 95% of cars are clean (except when they have live rats in them).

13th Place: The B, D and Q Trains

If you live deep in South Brooklyn, then these are your main lines. If you really want to sit during your commute, take the B train. You have a 58% chance of getting a seat compared to 40% and 35% for the D and Q, respectively. If you want reliability, pick any of them! All three trains arrive regularly 79% of the time. And if you want a train that almost never breaks down  and features correct announcements, then take the Q. They breakdown about every 407,000 miles compared to a system average of breakdowns every 153,382 miles and 100% of announcements are correct.

12th Place: The 4 Train

Finally, a train in a class of its own. The good news? 99% of 4 train announcements are correct and 90% of cars are clean. The bad news. You only have a 36% chance of getting a seat during rush hour and the trains breakdown every 125,000 miles.

10th Place: The M and 3 Trains

These trains almost never cross paths (other than the wonky 14th Street tunnel that connects them), but they’re pretty similar. Both breakdown a lot less often than average with the M featuring breakdowns every 368,000 miles and the 3 breaking down every 243,000 miles. The M train is better for correct announcements (99% vs. 85%), but you have a slightly higher chance of getting a rush hour seat on a 3 train (44% vs. 38%).

9th Place: The F Train

No matter how much people who live off the F line may herald its virtues, that train line has its own share of problems. Yes, it’s incredibly useful (especially on the weekends), but you only have a 36% chance of getting a seat during rush hour and trains only arrive regularly about 75% of the time, making it the system’s most delayed train. But never you mind, you’ll still hear correct announcements 95% of the time and only have to deal with breakdowns every 258,000 miles or so.

 7th Place: The N and R Trains

When it comes to regularity and train cleanliness, the N and R trains are pretty much the same. Both arrive regularly around 80% of the time and both boast cleanliness rates in the high 80s and low 90s. But that’s where the similarities end: You’re significantly more likely to get a rush hour seat on the R (66% vs. 33%), but the N train is extremely less likely to breakdown on you (every 535,000 mi. vs. every 116,000 mi.) and announcements are correctly made 99% of the time on the N compared to 90% on the R.

3rd Place: The L and J/Z Train

Whoa! Bet you weren’t expecting that! The J and Z trains are just as useful as the fancy L trains. Similarities? Both trains arrive with about 80% regularity and on both trains nearly 100% of announcements are made correctly. But when it comes to cleanliness, the J/Z rules with 96% cleanliness compared to the L’s 90% car cleanliness and J/Z breakdowns happen every 141,000 miles compared to the L breaking down every 80,000 miles (though both experience breakdowns at above average rates). As for getting a seat: You have a 46% chance on the J and a 31% chance on the L. Guess that proposal to build 10-story apartments along the J/Z line isn’t looking too shabby now.

For a full rundown of the results and an explanation of the ranking process, check out the 2014 State of the Subways report here.

Follow Nikita Richardson on Twitter @nikitarbk


  1. Maybe the G-Train was left off because it would have gotten a negative MetroCard score, as in the city should be paying us to put up with the G-Train.


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