New York City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, Congressman Joe Crowley, Council Member Peter Koo and Access Queens held a rally to blast the MTA for continued poor service on the 7-Line. Service has been exceptionally poor over the last several weeks, especially at peak times with long waits and overcrowded platforms and trains. These dangerous conditions and unending delays often force riders to seek costly alternate transportation. This comes after years of ongoing work to the 7-Line with constant shutdowns, service changes, and delayed service, causing disruption to riders, community members and local businesses.
Additionally, the MTA announced last week that they are once again pushing back deadlines to finish CBTC signal upgrades on the 7-line. Signal upgrade work has been underway for seven years and was originally set to be completed in 2016. The MTA continues to blow past deadlines, most recently the scheduled June 30 deadline with the announcement last week that this has now been pushed back to November.
In January, on Andy Byford’s first day as President of the New York City Transit Authority, Council Member Van Bramer invited Byford to visit this community and address the poor service on the 7-Line. He has since visited other neighborhoods but has made no effort to come to this community.
At the rally, Council Member Van Bramer called on Byford to come to his district to hold an emergency town hall. He also demanded immediate improved service on the 7 line and a dialogue with the MTA and NYCTA about proposed service changes.
“We have endured horrible 7 Train service for far too long,” said Council Member Van Bramer. “The MTA needs to set deadlines and stick to them. As they plan work, they need to consider this community and the repercussions of service changes. And Andy Byford needs to come to this community immediately for an emergency town hall so that he can fully understand the impact of this awful 7 Train service. People who live along the 7 need the train to get to work and to get home to their families and they shouldn’t be forced to dedicate additional commute time to stand on crowed platforms because the 7 Train is so unreliable. This community deserves better.”
“We welcome the spring and summer months in NYC with great anticipation. Sadly, we also anticipate anger and frustration at our constantly delayed 7 train,” said Council Member Koo. “Any 7 train rider can tell you that the only thing reliable about the 7 train is that it will inevitably be delayed. At the end of the day, 7 train riders are sick and tired of being sick and tired. From Long Island City to Flushing, New Yorkers need the MTA to do better because New Yorkers deserve better.”
“The extended timelines and cost overruns on the CBTC project are completely unacceptable,” said Melissa Orlando, Founder and Executive Director of Access Queens. “Not only does this cause inconvenience for riders, the associated testing, train delays and signal failures create a real quality of life issue here in Queens. The economic impact of not having functioning mass transit in Queens cannot be overstated – all of this has a cost attached to it.”