Even though there are entire areas of the borough of Queens that do not have direct subway service, the New York City subway system is a vital mode of transportation for everyone in Queens. Like veins in a body, the tunnels and elevated tracks of the Queens subway routes reach through the borough, carrying in them important “blood” in the form of commuters, tourists, students, and day trippers. So it is not surprising just how debilitating a shutdown can be, even for a short time.
In recent years, the 7 train, which serves two of the borough’s busiest stations, has become a headache for commuter and MTA alike. Weekend shutdowns and service changes left anger and confusion for the nearly half million daily riders. In 2016, 7 train shutdowns will continue, but the MTA promises the upgrades will help make service much more reliable for generations to come. Further, Gov. Cuomo announced this year that seven subway stops – The N and Q stops at 30th Avenue, Broadway and 39th Avenue; the F train stop at Parsons Boulevard and the R and M stops at 39th Avenue, Northern Boulevard and 67th Avenue – will shut down for several weeks for renovations.
Recently, renovations along the A line in Ozone Park have given a facelift to the century-old elevated subway stations, including new platforms, artistic windows on the station shelters that allow commuters to look out and get some sunlight while they wait for a train, and new lighting.
Simply put, the subway is important to our survival. A century ago, the borough grew with the help of the subways. Even for commuters who live beyond the subway’s reach, they provide an important link. Many commuters take buses to subway stations in Flushing, Jamaica, Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, Middle Village, Long Island City, Jackson Heights and Richmond Hill to catch trains to Manhattan.
Today the clanging noise of packed subway trains over Roosevelt Avenue, Liberty Avenue, Jamaica Avenue, Wyckoff Avenue or 31st Street and the whoosh of a passing train under sidewalk grates along Queens Boulevard, Hillside Avenue, Archer Avenue or Steinway Street, are the breaths of the borough. As long as the subways are running, the borough is living- and thriving.
Included in this edition is an updated map of subway service in Queens as of January 2016. Free copies of the subway map are available at any subway token booth. For more information on routes and scheduling, check out mta.info or call (718) 330-1234 for English or (718) 330-4847 for non-English speakers.