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It’s time to step up, MTA

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Enough already.

Queens straphangers who ride the erratic No. 7 train are saying in no uncertain terms that they can’t take it anymore. The severe winter put riders through a tough obstacle course: delayed trains, skipped stops, suspension of service and overcrowded platforms.

Disruptions have been commonplace on the transit lifeline of northern Queens for the past several years since the MTA launched a $550 million program to update the signal system, replace tracks and repair East River tunnel damage from Sandy. But frequent service outages, particularly during rush hour and weekends, have tested riders’ patience.

Frustrated No. 7 riders are organizing and beginning to speak in one loud voice.

Sunnyside activists have created a blog and Facebook site called 7 Train Blues, which has drawn hundreds of followers eager to share their opinions and bad experiences.

Back in March business owners joined angry riders and community leaders at a rally under the 40th Street station to say the economy in western Queens had been hurt by the poor service.

And the Riders Alliance, a transit advocacy group, collected what it called “subway horror stories” at Queensboro Plaza in an effort to persuade Albany to fund the MTA’s $32 billion capital budget plan to fix the ailing system. No. 7 complaints took top billing.

Everyone agrees the massive project must be done to improve 7 service, but the MTA has turned a tin ear to the riding public.

When a Queens councilman asked the MTA to provide Sunday service for the March 1 St. Pat’s Day for All Parade in Sunnyside, an agency spokesman chided him for trying to have it both ways by wanting planned work canceled and then criticizing the poor service.

This was a classic example of tuning out Queens straphangers, who care deeply about their ethnic holiday events. The MTA should start listening to its No. 7 riders as the first step toward restoring customer relations.

The 7 Train Blues blog is asking the MTA to hold town hall meetings. Translation: Riders want more information about repair work and service problems, which is not unreasonable.

The MTA should set up a No. 7 line page for riders on its MTA.com website and send agency reps out to the bigger stations, such as Woodside, to talk to straphangers when major disruptions occur.

The beleaguered riders have paid their dues (in higher fares) and deserve some goodwill.

Posted 12:00 am, April 17, 2015
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Reader feedback

anon from queens says:
The seven train has always been crap. Atleast it's not as bad as some other trains though. It does break down quite a bit because they never replace the old signals, they just keep fixing the old ones...it's called job security that's why.....When you have a powerful union that's what happens.
April 17, 2015, 4:53 am
because from Queens says:
They perform less maintenance then is needed because they know the majority of riders are not citizens, and many of those are not here legally. Except to and from Met games, it is mainly foreigners.
April 17, 2015, 10:15 am
anon from queens says:
Because from queens. ....it has nothing to do with being on a line full of foreigners. .....the signal system is old and has not been replaced in years. The mta knows that if they actually fixed it, then someone would be out of work. The fact of the matter is that they would fix it for foreigners if it the mta didn't have such a strong union. They cater to foreigners and illegals left and right in this damn city without even thinking about the american citizens wants or needs...so what really makes you think that they won't cater to them on this issue?
April 18, 2015, 3:44 pm

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