Report: The C Train Sucks… Again

The C Train is the worst subway line in the city according to the latest survey from the Straphangers Campaign. The C rocked the bottom of the group’s list with its kissin’ cousin the A ranking only 3 positions higher. As for the other main lines running through Brooklyn Heights – R, N, 2, 3 – they finished in the middle of the pack. The Q train topped the list as NYC’s best.

One of the main reasons the C finished last according to the report is lack of cleanliness. The rampant filth is a well known issue, especially with readers of the Train Pigs blog which is hyperfocused on exposing folks who eat on the subway. Their latest post says the C is “cursed with some of the oldest cars in the entire fleet possessing their own unique stench.

The full Straphangers report is available here.

NYT: Cars on the C line are the oldest in the subway system and among the oldest city subway trains in regular operation anywhere. They are also among the darkest in New York — and that, the transportation authority said, accounted for at least some of the cleanliness complaints.

“I’m sure that there is some cleanliness involved, but a lot of it does have to do with perception,” Charles Seaton, a spokesman for the authority, said. “The fact that the car is a dim car makes it perceived as being dirtier.”

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  • Eddie

    The lack of cleanliness is an issue but the primary reason that the C and A trains suck is that they are never ever on time. I go to the Nostrand Avenue Station in hopes of catching one of the two trains and when I arrive both platforms are groaning with the weight of anxious and angry straphangers. If a token booth clerk is approached to inquire as to whether or not there is a problem with the trains, the individual is met with a deer in the headlights look. And the situation has only gotten worse with the system unable to handle the increasing number of passengers due to gentrification in Crown Heights and Bed-Stuy. Funny that the MTA can increase trains on the L line to accomodate people going into Greenpoint/Williamsburg but can’t figure out what to do about the A/C lines.

  • AEB

    My daily commute involves the C if the A doesn’t appear first. I don’t find either particular odious, especially in comparison with the squashed-humanity 4-5-6.

    What does irk is the lack of the electronic arrival notifications on the tracks that serve the C and A. The AM wait in the High Street station (and whereof this phantom street?) can involve endless neck-craning to see if…if…if…a train is coming.

  • yoohoo

    I also use the A or C train for my almost daily trips to and from Manhattan. In the last few weeks, I’ve seen nothing but former A-line (wide) cars now used for local C service, and these C trains haven’t been any dirtier (or cleaner) than the A trains.

  • She’s Crafty

    Agree with both AEB and yoohoo. Whenever possible I choose the A or the C; the C especially because you can usually get a seat no matter what time of the day and it is fast and comes a lot. I would say the 4/5 suck the worst because they are always totally crowded and constantly crawl between stations. I

  • Jorale-man

    The NYT article pointed out a good dimension to this: the C cars are more dimly lit, which makes them look dirtier than the other cars (including the sister-line A). They are certainly grimy – as are pretty much all of the subway cars in NYC – but the dim lighting gives them a particularly 1970’s quality.

  • AEB

    Parenthetically, I find the C, and all NYC trains, cooled to a sub-Arctic degree. Insta-freeze: fingers that worked prior to boarding suddenly don’t….

  • j

    It just feels that way in comparison to the 1000 degree platform.