Majority Leader Van Bramer & Access Queens Call for Full 7 Line-Review at Rally Against Poor Service

On February 9th, New York City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer, representatives from Access Queens, Community Board 2, 7 train commuters, business owners and stakeholders held a rally to voice their concerns about poor 7 train service. This year, riders have seen growing delays and service disruptions during rush hour commutes on the 7 train. During the rally, Majority Leader Van Bramer called on the MTA 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 Majority Leader 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.”

Queens 7 train commuters joined the Majority Leader to share their stories about horrific rush hour commutes, talking about the negative impacts poor maintenance of station and inadequate service is having on their lives.

“Access Queens stands in solidarity with riders. We are calling on the MTA to invest in Queens by addressing serious overcrowding and service issues on the 7,” said Melissa Orlando, representative from Access Queens. “Riders deserve transparency, consistent communication, and an adequately-funded transit system.”

“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 Community Board 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 7 train is essential, morning, noon and night, Monday to Sunday, bringing workers and clients to our many businesses that operate at all hours and on all days, and customers to our many dining, entertainment and cultural attractions,” said Elizabeth Lusskin, President, Long Island City Partnership. “We need the highest level of service, station maintenance and especially communication, even while important upgrades are being implemented. If any line merits concentrated attention and creative improvements, it is the 7, and we hope to see Full-Line Review implemented as soon as possible.”

The MTA’s Full-Line Reviews have resulted in recommendations and changes to improve the customer experience, including improved customer communication, station access, station improvements, operator and staff training, station reliability and service frequency. The MTA has only prioritized lettered train lines, bringing improvements to the A, C, F, G and L trains.

Currently the MTA is performing ongoing signal replacement work on the 7 train to upgrade the line to Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC) to improve service frequency and reliability. This necessary track work has resulted in years of weekend closures and reduced service for thousands of riders.

In September of 2015 the Citizens Budget Commission released a report ranking the city’s 467 train stations in New York City. The four 7 line stations ranked in the top 10 of crumbling Queens train stations.

Given the impact of the CBTC project on 7 Train riders and the poor maintenance of multiple stations, Majority Leader Van Bramer’s office requested the MTA expedite a Full-Line Review of the 7 train to closely examine the implementation of CBTC signal upgrades as well as day-to-day operations and maintenance of the service in an effort to identify immediate solutions to improve service reliability, and customer convenience.