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F-Trainology

by Don Cruise

Waiting on the F-train platform

The Straphangers Campaign website has become more complex and useful since the last time we visited, back in 2004. The development includes a lot of line-specific information, creating, in effect, standalone websites for each subway line.

And since with three local stops, this neighborhood uses the F-train more than any other subway, let’s see how the F is doing. Turns out it's a mixed bag.

How does the F Perform? (PDF file)

For instance, cars on the F break down more often than those on the average line. The system as a whole averages 178,085 miles between mechanical failures -- not bad, by the way, when compared, say, to the average GM car... But our F is less healthy, doing only an average of 165,415 before making the equivalent of an AAA call.

As of January 2006, The F line has an above-average amount of scheduled service.

AM Rush System Average: Every 5:33 min. F-train Average: Every 4 min. Noon System Average: Every 8:26 min. F-train Average: Every 7:30 min. PM Rush System Average: Every 5:48 min. F-train Average: Every 4 min. Overnight System Average: Every 20 min. F-train Average: Every 20 min.

But the F also arrives with below-average regularity. Between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. the system is 87% regular, and our F is a mere 87% regular. Don't ask us what the 2% difference really means.

You're less likely to get a seat on the F line. During rush hour, 49% of all passengers on average find a seat. Only 42% of F riders enjoy the same comfort.

The F line is A LOT less clean than average. The gap is pretty serious: 79% of the system is clean on average, compared to only 64% on our F.

But not to worry - the F performs above average on in-car announcements, 91% vs. 90% system-wide. So, when you're stuck on the F, you KNOW you're stuck faster than on most other trains.

Here are a few more useful links offered on the F-line website.

F Line Schedule, Map and Station Info (courtesy of the MTA)

F Line Diversion Notices in effect now

F Line Rider’s Diary Call or Fax the F Line Superintendant

New York’s Best Interactive Subway Map (courtesy of CMAP)

How to Complain and Get Results

How to Lower Your Fare

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