C subway line: the worst in New York City?

It’s one of the hottest spots in New York City. Temperatures soar and sweat runs down your back. Spots to sit are sparse, and after a long day, your knees ache from the wait itself.

NYC Subway Rats

(Credit: 3-B-S.org)

Meanwhile, the smell of stale trash wafts into your nose as fat rats scurry down below. You’re on a subway platform, but you’re also waiting for the C so it’s twice as bad.

In fact, it’s the worst—the worst subway line in New York City, according to the new “State of the Subways” report card. The Straphangers’ Campaign of the New York Public Interest Research Group released its 13th annual evaluation of the city’s 22 subway lines on Wednesday, and C line commuters have much to complain about.

The C Line

The C line is the worst line in the New York City transit system, according to the 2010 "State of the Subways" report. (Credit: TTMG.org, Photo: Nicholas B. Maione)

The C fell below average on five of six categories: “amount of scheduled service, delays caused by mechanical breakdowns and announcements (all three next to worst); regularity of service; and cleanliness,” according to the report.

How do C line commuters assess the Straphangers’ findings that the C is the worst line? Well… They’re not surprised.

“I’m not sure it’s the worst, but certainly in my experience, it’s right up there,” says commuter Joseph Sinzer. “It seems in my experience to break down frequently. It never seems to run on time. The trains aren’t the cleanest. You can’t give it high marks on anything.”

“It’s dirty, it’s slow, and it never comes on time,” says commuter Samba Ba, who uses the line four to five times a week.

“Because the timing, you have to wait forever for the C train. I think it probably has to do with the fact that the availability, especially the weekends, is horrible. After 10 p.m., you have to wait a really long time,” C line commuter Ray Koscinski says.

What’s been your experience with the C line? Is it the worst or are there other lines that infuriate you even more?

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47 Responses to C subway line: the worst in New York City?

  1. Ian Chant says:

    The C Line is against God. It is an abomination unto the eyes of YHWH, and all who ride it are doomed! DOOOOOOOMMMED!!!
    …to, you know, not get where they’re going on time.

  2. channon says:

    Okay, really? What subway line is not screwed up pretty often. I take the c-line and the n-line several times a week to go from Queens to Brooklyn. I’d say they’re pretty evenly crappy. Let’s not pick on individuals.

  3. tierney.mcafee says:

    I was surprised by this actually. The C line is certainly not pretty, but I used to take it twice a day for work and it usually ran pretty regularly. At least around 9am and 5pm. I used to take the C to the F everyday–and the F was the one I always had to wait for at the end of the day.

  4. Sarah Ewald says:

    I usually walk to Bryant Park to take the F back to my apartment since it stops near mine. For me, it’s a waiting for train vs. getting back in a timely manner tradeoff. I’m fine with waiting, it’s the stopping en route (underground between stations) that gets to me.

  5. Rebecca Douglas says:

    I also checked out the Straphangers Report Card for my daybook assignment. I was pretty amazed by the results. The 1 and the 2 ranked relatively well. I use both of them every day and they are completely unreliable. I couldn’t find the actual rankings online, but I took a picture of the press release with my iphone:

  6. The C line has caused near freakout attacks on my part, whether because of lateness or because of the constant stalling in between stops that seems to take place on a fairly regular basis. The only train worse than the C is the F, and that’s because it only shows up when the stars are aligned and the gods are in a good mood.

  7. cesar.bustamante says:

    I use the C line every Sunday to help drop off items at a flea market where my mom is a vendor. I don’t find it to be bad generally. That is however a weekend schedule and weekends are this alternate world where things are weird. E trains on weekends change randomly from local to express when they are so reliable on weekdays. Maybe the C is different on weekdays from weekends.

  8. i hate these rats in the nyc subways and tracks u people need to stop littering everywhere in nyc stop ur garbage atracks rats

  9. ok i hate rats kill them dont take then stop littering ok clean up trains n tracks need to be clean ok u people stop k

    • stop i love trains take care of the city u live in the trains, stations n tracks need to be clean ok this city wants to be the best with all your littering this city is messy stinky ok stop be good ok dont litter clean up after yourself ok thanks

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