As noted in the press, NYC Transit has been passing out “rider report cards” on its subway lines to gauge customer satisfaction. Most TSTC staffers happen to be NYC Transit customers as well. So how satisfied are we? The fourth in a series of answers to that question comes from senior planner Ryan Lynch, who gives the C train a grade of D.
Home: Franklin Avenue, Brooklyn
Work: Penn Station/34th Street
13 Stops/35 minutes
Ahhhhhhh. The C. What can be said about the C? On a good day, I get to work in 35 minutes. Every other day, I have to wait 10-15 minutes for a train to come and experience significant delays, often stuck between stations while trying to translate what the cause of the delay is over a very fuzzy speaker system.
That’s on the way to work. Coming home is a totally different story. The dearth in C trains heading to Brooklyn during evening rush hours, let alone off-peak hours, has led me to seek an alternative line (usually the 2 or 3) home.
However, for your amusement I will recount my most recent attempt at taking the C home. It pretty much went like this: I arrived at the 34th Street/Penn Station at 5:10. I waited 20 minutes while six mostly empty E trains came and went (alright, the first three were fairly full), before a C arrived packed to the gills. All this occurred while I cursed the E under my breath. Don’t know why I took it out on an inanimate object. The C will do that sort of thing to you sometimes.
On a more positive note, the subway station at Franklin Avenue isn’t horrific. I would say the amount of graffiti/scratchitti is average as compared to other stations. There are no real tourist attractions at that stop (in the heart of Bed-Stuy), so that may be why it is only average in comparison to Kyle’s grade of an A in this area at the Eastern Parkway/Brooklyn Museum station.
The Franklin station does have good access to elevators and, although the connection is a bit far, it is fairly easy to find the shuttle that takes you from Fulton Avenue to the Botanical Gardens stop just south of Eastern Parkway.
When it is running on time, the C is a very efficient and a quick way to arrive to work and get to the West Side of Manhattan. However, this is rare, and the fact that I have to take another line, due to the infrequency of the C heading to Brooklyn, leads me to give the line an overall grade of D.