Today’s news:

E train grade unchanged at D− on report card

Straphangers gave the E train the same D−plus grade they did in 2007 in the New York City Transit Authority Report Card survey, although they praised station elevators and escalators, signage and helpful MTA personnel.

Transit riders sent in a total of 4,511 Rider Report Card responses, including 4,280 by mail and 231 via the Internet on what they thought of conditions on E trains.

Transit officials said that although the overall grade for the E line was D−plus, the customer satisfaction index of 81 percent was three percentage points lower than the 84 percent in 2007.

Transit riders were asked to grade 21 service attributes on the E line, which runs from the World Trade Center in Manhattan to Jamaica Center at Parsons Boulevard and Archer Avenue in Queens.

Straphangers gave a number of categories higher grades than they did in 2007, including “working elevators and escalators in stations” (D−plus to C−minus), “Signs in subway stations that help riders find their way” (C−minus to C), “Station announcements that are informative” (D to−D−plus) and “Courtesy and helpfulness of station personnel” (C−minus to C).

But riders gave “Adequate room on board at rush hour” and “Comfortable temperatures in subway cars” both D−minus rather than D and C−minus as in 2007.

Riders gave “Availability of MetroCard vending machines” their highest grade at B−minus, unchanged from 2007. Grades for 14 other categories were also unchanged from 2007.

As for customer satisfaction, “Availability of MetroCard vending machines,” “Ease of use of subway turnstiles,” “Signs in stations that help riders find their way,” “Lack of graffiti in stations,” “Lack of graffiti in subway cars” and “A sense of security in stations” all earned at least 90 percent satisfaction.

Straphangers said the top five improvements they would like to see on the E line were “Adequate room on board at rush hour,” “Minimal delays during trips” and “Reasonable wait times between trains” in that order.

“Comfortable temperatures in subway cars” was No. 4, while “Cleanliness of subway cars” was fifth.

Transit Authority President Howard Roberts said the E line, like the Nos. 2, 3, 4 and 5 lines, is at full passenger capacity.

“Ridership on the line means increased crowding,” Roberts said.

“Therefore, we’re unable to make improvements with respect to our riders’ top three priorities. However, as more of the old subway cars are replaced by new R160 cars, our customers should experience more comfortable temperatures in cars.”

Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e−mail at or phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 136.

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