The Best NY City Subways to get a Seat on The Morning Commute


Park Slope, Bay Ridge, the Upper West Side and Forest Hills are the best neighborhoods to move to if you want to get a subway seat during the a.m. rush hour, transit data show.

As long as you’re willing to ride the local.

New York’s subway system has been breaking ridership records in the last year, with 6 million people cramming onto trains on each of 29 different days in 2014. But riders looking to escape sardine-can trains can take the R line into Manhattan from Brooklyn neighborhoods including Park Slope, Bay Ridge and Sunset Park.

That line operates at only 57 percent capacity.

MTA officials say this is because R train riders typically transfer in Brooklyn to either the express N train at 59th Street or the D train at 36th Street in order to shave a few minutes off their commutes — even though those lines are more crowded.

Bruni Perez, 38, of Bay Ridge said the R is a long trip for her but worth it to read in peace.

“I usually do get a seat,” she said. “You have to get on towards the back. It’s a slow train, you slog through Brooklyn, but having a seat and being able to read my Kindle makes it bearable.”

Others said that though they might not always get a seat on the R train, it’s still a lot less crowded.

“It’s not super crowded, but I’m usually standing,” said Justin Felder, 25, who lives off the Union Street stop.

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Upper West Siders also have good odds of getting a seat, as long as they don’t mind taking the local.

The B and C lines above 60th Street only run at 58 percent capacity.

“Oh no! My secret is out,” said Cindy Martinez, 48. “I avoid the 2 and 3 in Manhattan. Crazy crowded. You take the B or the C to the Upper West Side, and you almost always get a seat. Plus it’s quiet. It’s like Upper Manhattan’s secret.”

Unlike the Upper East Side, where the Second Avenue Subway line is being built, the Upper West Side has two major subway routes — one on Broadway and the other on Central Park West.

The next-best lines are the M and R trains from Queens to Manhattan.

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The lines, which are 59 percent full, run through neighborhoods including Jackson Heights, Forest Hills and Rego Park.

The G train, which runs from Queens to Brooklyn, as well as the 2 and 3 line from Brooklyn to Manhattan, are other lines that aren’t packed to the gills.

The MTA says they are at 61 and 63 percent capacity, respectively, during rush hour.

Read more about this story and other subway news

 

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