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MTA Completes 7-Train Upgrade, Touts Improved Service


May 10, 2019 By Christian Murray

The MTA announced yesterday that it has completed another technological upgrade to the 7 line that it believes will result in faster and more reliable service.

The latest upgrade, called “Automatic Train Operation,” will see trains programmed to a provide optimal cruising speeds, acceleration and braking that will lead to evenly spaced service and smoother, faster trips, according to the MTA.

Operators will continue to instruct the train to depart a station, make sure that tracks are clear throughout the ride, and control emergency braking in the case of obstacles.

The 7 line is now the second train line to have the technology, after the L. All other lines rely on operators to control a train’s acceleration, cruising speed and braking.

“I am tremendously proud and excited to announce that New York City Transit train operators are now running the entire Flushing Line using automatic train operation, which will make trips smoother and faster for all our customers on that line” said NYC Transit President Andy Byford in a statement.

The latest 7-train upgrade comes just months after the completion of the signaling system called Communications Based Train Control (CBTC), which the MTA says has already led to dramatic increases in on-time performance and other metrics associated with good service.

The MTA said that service on the 7 train has undergone a dramatic improvement since CBTC was installed in December 2018.

The agency said that on-time performance numbers have gone from 75 percent the month before CBTC was installed to 91 percent in March 2019. A year ago, in March 2018, on-time performance was at 56 percent.

The number of trains per hour on the line during peak hour has gone up to 29, from 25-27, providing service for an additional 2,400 to 4,800 people per hour.

The MTA said that the L train, which has the CBTC system, and the 7 train have the best performance in the system.

“It’s no coincidence that the two lines with CBTC and ATO have the best performance in the system, and we’re excited about what the future may bring as we explore emerging additional technologies such as ultra-wideband communications, which could revolutionize the way we modernize the system, as envisaged by our Fast Forward plan.”

Courtesy of MTA

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Harris Nasution

This news must come from a parallel universe because here in ours the term “improved service” is never used to describe the 7 train. Either that, or the CBTC algorithm was written by a freshman college kid.


For the weekend starting this Saturday (5/18), Flushing-bound #7 trains will run express only between Queens Plaza and Main Street, which suggests that the inconveniences of, “track work” are still far from over.


7 train service is relatively quite good. The people who complain clearly don’t take any other trains often.

That said, like all other lines we need to increase service. WE ALL KNOW that the MTA deliberately reduced service and slowed-down trains several years ago. It’s time to bring things back up to speed and frequency. If the union presents a problem, you know what to do. The MTA does not exist to ensure a comfy living for union workers – it exists to provide transportation for 9 million people.

vic pi

ha ha ha , what a good joke ! almost every day there are so called , signal malfunctions and that means MTA is cutting service because they dont care people have to get to work . in the morning there are more express trains then local ones , and they send to local trains one after another at 7:13 and 7:14 then nothing for 8- 10 min and when that one is coming usually is running express on the local track . the problem is with the people who runs this MTA scam company .

Pa Ingalls

Electronics and machinery were invented by humans. Humans are not perfect. Therefore electronics and machinery are known for breaking down from time to time.

The 7 is the only train that fvks up? No. That 2 line is disgusting. Others are just as terrible.

vote out van bramer

What a joke the MTA is for trying to mislead the public with touting improved service. At my station you still can’t even step foot in the 7 train as they still don’t run enough trains during rush hour. They should at least run more local vs express trains. Boggles my mind why someone in Flushing could get into Manhattan faster than someone in western queens.

David Wolberg

In early April there was a massive delay on a Tuesday evening on the 7 line due to a signal malfunction at Hunters Point Avenue. This occurred with the CBTC system that finally was completed after years of delay last November.
It won’t surprise me if this happens again on the 7 line with the “great” MTA.

43rd & 43rd

The 7 train has the best performance in the system? 91% of 7 trains are on time? I really have no idea how that’s possible. How do you get there without the stats being jiggled by everyone from the platform observers (the safety-vested MTA workers with clipboards) on up? I take the 7 and other trains every day, and those numbers are just completely unrelated to my experience.


Fantastic. Only an 11 minute wait for a local train this morning… sure, this stuff is really working.


Does this mean that the so-called “track work” that has been going on for at least 10 years on the #7 line, causing shutdowns of service in one direction or the other during non-rush hours and for entire weekends, is finally over? I thought I would never live to see that
happen. I hope it’s true!

Pinga Dulce

I’ve been observing construction work being performed and what I notice is most are private contractors with MTA vests. Yes indeed, they’re also milking the MTA.


What has been going on has been a complete and seemingly unending nightmare with the 7 train.


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