Friday Fast Facts: The L Reigns as Most Reliable Weekday Train in NYC

Katy Govlala

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Yesterday’s abrupt L-pocalypse cancellation means that New York’s most reliable train won’t shut down, after all.

Data wizard Todd Schneider used countdown clock data from January through May of 2018 to rank NYC trains by their weekday wait times. And, by this measure, the L train is the best train in the city.

If you catch an L train on a weekday between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., you can expect a median wait time right around three minutes, the shortest for any train in NYC. Schneider points out that the short wait times are likely because the L runs on a communications-based train control, which runs trains in a more automated way than the systems used for all other trains.

Other trains that rank amongst the shortest wait times include the 7, 1, and 6. This also makes sense because, along with the L, these three trains are the only ones that run on dedicated tracks.

Can the L maintain its title as most reliable train once construction starts? Doubtful. Skeptics of Cuomo’s “highly innovative but feasible plan” say that not shutting down the L will slow down the process to fully repair its tunnels, causing delays for years to come.

Unfortunately, the L is the only glimmer of hope amongst the Bushwick lines. With median wait times of over five minutes, the J, M, and Z trains all ranked closer to the bottom of the heap.

So that’s your fast fact of the week, Bushwick! Have a question about the neighborhood that you want us to try and answer using data? Leave a comment below!

Cover image courtesy of Femke Ongena.

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