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Report says L and 7 trains rise above


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Report says L and 7 trains rise above



July 30th 2008




L train riders benefit from line’s independent managers.


The (L) and (7) trains - the first in the system to have their own managers - are the best, but the subways overall are plagued by delays, a report released Tuesday found.


The first-place (L) and runnerup (7) won top honors because riders don't have to wait long for trains and aren't burdened by breakdowns as often as other riders, the Straphangers Campaign report concludes.


The W line again is the worst, partly due to long gaps between scheduled trains: 10 minutes. It tied for last place in the State of the Subways reports issued last year and in 2006.


"Riders on the (L) and (7) are benefiting from more independent managers and more resources, but the subway system as a whole performs weakly," Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign said. "Most troubling is the widespread increase in subway car breakdowns, which cause delays and inconvenience for hundreds of thousands of riders."


The winning lines received their own general managers in a pilot program started last year. The managers have broad authority over workers in different subway departments, enabling them to cut through red tape and make improvements, program supporters say.


Riders seemed to agree with the overall ratings. "It's the cleanest I've been on, and I've never really had to wait longer than 10 minutes for a train," said Motrya Kozbur, 18, a dance student who was waiting for an (L) train.


Announcements are clear, the Manhattan resident said, and electric message boards giving real-time arrival information are helpful.


Meanwhile, Patrick Ruppe, 30, stood on a (W) train platform at Union Square - at the other end of the spectrum. Minutes ticked by without a train coming his way.


"During rush hour, it's fairly reliable, but as soon as it's 9:30 or 9:45 a.m., you can't find it anywhere," said the publicist from Brooklyn.


Jeanne Hilary, a photographer also from Brooklyn, gave the entire system the thumbs up, saying, "The worst of public transit is better than the best highway. Cars take up a lot of space that can be used for other things."


Subway cars traveled on average 150,000 miles before a mechanical problem during the last six months of last year, about 7,000 fewer miles than the prior year.


The report and ranking of 22 lines was based on NYC Transit data between July and December, capturing just one month of the general manager's pilot program.


The "early positive results" should be duplicated when the program is expanded to other lines as planned, NYC Transit said in a statement.


Transit officials placed some blame on the fewer miles between subway car breakdowns on the advancing age of the fleet. But they said the fleet is the most reliable in the nation.

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The (L) and (7) are the most reliable? That would make sense because they don't share tracks with any other line. Let alone the (L) is mostly two-tracked throughout the entire line, except a section near 8th Avenue in Manhattan and Myrtle-Wycoff, near the (M). You also have some (7) trains run express in peak direction, <7>, so there's hardly any reason to complain about these two services. Of course if there is a stalled train on the (7) or (L) there would be major issues, but there hardly is any. That's really good. :o

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