Photo Courtesy of City Council
7 train riders joined Van Bramer to rally against poor 7 train service.
BY YVETTE BROWN
Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) held a rally on Tuesday to voice his concerns about the continued poor service on the 7 train. He was joined by representatives from Access Queens, Community Board 2, 7 train commuters, business owners and stakeholders.
The amount of delays on the 7 train service has grown along with service disruptions during rush hour commutes. The rally was to call on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to implement and expedite a complete Full-Line review of the 7 line.
“Over the last several weeks constant delays and service disruptions have piled up, crippling morning commutes for thousands of 7 train riders,” said Van Bramer. “These delays, which lead to overcrowding on platforms and dangerous conditions at numerous stations, cannot continue to go on without a response from the MTA. The MTA cannot ignore the voices of my constituents and all 7 train riders who suffer every day. That is why we are calling on the Authority to make the 7 train the first numbered line to receive a top to bottom Full-Line Review that would examine the implementation of the Communications-Based train Control (CBTC) signal upgrades in addition to day-to-day operations and maintenance. Enough is enough. Riders need relief now. The MTA cannot continue to neglect hard working New Yorkers who pay for subpar service.”
Thus far, the MTA Full-Line reviews have resulted in recommendations and changes to the letter train lines, such as the A, C, F, G and L trains. The reviews have included improved customer communication, station access, station improvements, operator and staff training, station reliability and service frequency.
The MTA is performing ongoing signal replacement work on the 7 train to upgrade the line to CBTC so that they can improve the service frequency and reliability. The track work has caused years worth of weekend closures and reduced service for many commuters.
“For years now, every one of us can tell story after story about 7 train experiences, and none of them have happy endings,” said Pat O’Brien, chair of CB 2. “People need and deserve reliable, timely, and efficient 7 train service, and the simple fact is that the MTA has not delivered it. Whatever plans and promises have been made, they have not been realized and certainly have not had any significant effect in mitigating or eliminating the daily 7 Train blues we all live with. Glaciers erode rock quicker than the MTA acts, but we live in real time, not geologic time, and we need these improvements now. Hopefully a Full-Line Review will be lead to some of those long-overdue, sorely needed improvements.”
The MTA said it has already been reviving the 7 train.
“We are fully committed to conducting line reviews of all of the system’s lines. In addition, over the past several months, we have enhanced inspections and added additional personnel to improve response times to right of way incidents on the 7 line that is beginning to stabilize service along the line,” said Kevin Ortiz, a spokesperson for the MTA. “However, there have been a couple of major incidents on the line over the past several weeks, a broken rail for example, that have negatively impacted service. In order to mitigate these major incidents, NYCT has been making capital improvements on the 7 Line over the past several years to increase the line’s capacity and reliability as ridership demand rises. Nearly every element of the line is being improved, from tracks through the replacement of entire panels of elevated tracks, to signals through the implementation of an updated communications-based train control system (CBTC), to the reconstruction and fortification of the storm-damaged Steinway Tunnel that links Queens and Manhattan.”
Reach Yvette Brown at (718)357-7400 ext.128, email@example.com or @eveywrites.