It's that time again: The Straphangers have released their State of the Subways report card again, and they say the report card "paints a positive picture of the subways." This year, the 6 train gets top honors, followed by the 7, D, E and 4. The worst line is the N, along with the A, R, W, and C - ah, it figures for the Never/Rarely/Whenever line! Subway lines were judged the following factors: amount of scheduled service, regularity of train arrivals, mechanical failures, chance of getting a rush hour seat, floor and seat cleanliness and adequacy of announcements. One reason the 6 line rates high is because many of the trains on that line have been replaced with newer cars which break down less. The NY Times says this is the best report card the Straphangers have ever given, though the non-profit feels the subway could get better; however, the Straphangers are realistic, with their staff lawyer Gene Russianoff saying, "We're not talking about perfection here. This is the New York City subway."

The Straphangers have some cool charts (all are PDFs): First chart, they rate the lines giving them a "MetroCard Rating" based on the $2 subway fare; an excellent line would get $2 out of $2 - as it is, the top line, the 6, gets $1.65 while the N line is only "worth" 80 cents. Second chart is how your subway rates. The third chart rates the lines by performance indicator. Some other cool facts from the Straphangers about the "disparity" in line service:

* Breakdowns: The D* had the best record on delays caused by car mechanical failures: once every 448,404 miles. The G line had the worst, experiencing breakdown delays more than eight times as often: once every 53,331 miles.
* Cleanliness: The E was the cleanest line, with only 4% of its cars having moderate or heavy dirt, while 30% of cars on the dirtiest line — R — had moderate or heavy dirt, a much worse performance. * Chance of getting a seat: We rate a rider’s chance of getting a seat at the most congested point on the line. We found the best chance is on the B* line, where riders had a 72% chance of getting a seat during rush hour. The L ranked worst and was much more overcrowded, with riders having only a 29% chance of getting a seat.
* Amount of scheduled service: The 6 and 7 lines had the most scheduled service, with two to three minute intervals between trains during rush hours. The B* and M rank worst, with nine to ten minute intervals between trains during this period.
* Regularity of service: The G line had the greatest regularity of service, arriving within two to four minutes of their scheduled interval 94% of the time. The most irregular line is the 5, which performed with regularity only 80% of the time.
* In-car announcements: The 5 line had the highest rate of adequate announcements made in its subway cars, 100% of the time. The J/Z was the worst, at 76%.

Of course, NYC Transit doesn't agree with the Straphangers' methodology, but will agree that service is getting better. And NY State and NYC - the MTA needs some cash for help our commutes! Gothamist on last year's subway report card