Trains running on the numbered subway lines were late more often in September than trains on the letter lines, according to the most recent stats from the MTA. And the tardiest train of all was the 2 train, which was on schedule only 57 percent of the time in September and 53.5 percent in August. The 2's stats dragged down the overall performance average for the numbered trains, which were on schedule just 76 percent of the time in September, below the system-wide average of 84 percent.
An MTA spokesman explains that the 2 train's lateness was a result of track panel work in the Bronx, "which took place most middays and weekends in September." But the numbered lines' lateness is also attributable to overcrowding caused by the train's smaller cars and general business. “It doesn’t take much to back things up,” Carmen Bianco, vice president of subways at New York City Transit, tells the Post. “We could have 20 trains late for one sick person.”
In August, the numbered lines were late 24.4 percent of the time when the system-wide average for late trains was 17.9 percent. (For what it's worth, the MTA considers a train late if it arrives at its final stop five minutes or more after its scheduled arrival time.) By comparison, in September, the lettered trains were on time overall between 87 and 89.9 percent of the time.
And it may surprise you to know that the subway line with the best on-time performance rate in September was the L, with a stunning 96-percent rating. Of course, just because it arrives on time doesn't mean you'll be able to squeeze on board.