Dec. 5, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez
A series of hellish commutes for 7 train riders in recent days has prompted Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer to call on the MTA’s leadership—yet again—to head to Sunnyside for a town hall.
Van Bramer, in a Dec. 3 letter sent to Andy Byford, New York City Transit president, urged him to set a date for a neighborhood town hall about the 7 train, especially in light of more than a week of problems along the line that have made commuting agonizing for thousands of area residents.
The recent setbacks, meanwhile, come as the train’s new signal system, nearly 10 years in the works and meant to enhance service, came online in late November.
The Dec. 3 letter marks the third time Van Bramer has asked Byford about a town hall since his tenure began this year, and follows a statement Byford made in June about holding the event in Sunnyside.
“Given the aforementioned invitations, your statement in June, and the first week of CBTC going live being an abject failure, it is imperative that you come to District 26 to address the community about concerns with the 7 Train,” Van Bramer wrote.
The council member added in a separate post that service on the line has become an “absolute disaster.”
“As a regular rider of the subway, I have witnessed the outrageous delays and overcrowding firsthand,” he said.
Some of the issues along the 7 line in recent days include “network connectivity issues” in the three days after the signal system went live, smoke on the tracks in the morning of Dec. 5, activated brakes on the evening of Dec. 4, injured passengers on the tracks, and service suspensions along several consecutive stations—all of which have added hours to 7 line commutes.
Van Bramer said Queens residents who rely on public transit every day deserve answers, and that the MTA must be held accountable.
The MTA did not respond by press time to questions about a potential town hall in the area, but noted on the day the new 7 train signal system went online that subsequent work would be needed.
The council member’s statements also follow multiple tweets and retweets he has taken to posting recently on the state of the 7 train and the Amazon deal.
Van Bramer, a central and vocal opponent to the tech giant’s deal, has criticized the billions in city and state incentives the company is set to receive, which he says could be used to fund repairs to the subway system and other infrastructure improvements.
Since nothing will be done, I can at least enjoy shouting at the twit responsible for so much lost time. Sure it’s not constructive or is it? If I take my rage out on useless Andy, at least it’s not directed at my fellow riders. Seriously, let’s give him hell. Let’s demand refunds. Let’s tell him what this is costing us and let’s make it as unpleasant for him as a 7 train ride during rush hour.
i no longer take the 7. it is so incredibly slow, packed, and a really bad ride. i was late for work every single day. i now take the bus to queens plaza and grab the E, M, or R train. why is the 7 so slow in the tunnel? the W or N just goes full blast speeds. Just terrible!
When Citibike comes to the neighborhood we’ll be able to zip down to one of the M/R stations in about 5 minutes. Can’t wait.
And wait until the BIRD scooters arrive. Clogging sidewalks and subway entrances. Oh joy.
Yes same here. I’ve been walking to Queens Plaza to catch the E or M for about 2 years. It takes 12 minutes, I beat the 7 train and about 5 buses in the traffic. It’s annoying but the 7 train is ridiculous and un-reliable.
If any of you will be alive in 2045 there will be a completely new tunnel and new double decked trains to Manhattan to shuttle all the tens of thousands of new residents that will be over the sunnyside yards in their now old apartments.
Absolutely we should have been paying much less for Transit over 25 years ago. the transit system owes the customers over 25 years of funds promised to be paid back to the customers for receiving price increases for construction projects that took place because of the support of us (the customers). Where are the funds the MTA promised to give us back once those construction projects were done?
Oh great, another town hall. This ought to do the trick as the last few town halls have brought so much improvement to the situation.
7 train is not an embarrassment, MTA is an embarrassment. It’s a money laundering business for the mayor and the governor of the city .
Are you on drugs? The 7 train is a 3d world train and I don’t mean the people riding it. It is not an embarassment, it is a disgrace to this country!
I take the 7 every day and wasn’t affected by anything mentioned in this article.
I take the 7 every day from 61st Woodside to Chambers Street, Manhattan. I was affected by the 7 train problems EVERY MORNING AND EVENING last week and half of the week this week. Just log onto 7 train blues on facebook and you’ll see plenty more riders posting horror tales like mine.
again that is YOUR CHOICE to work downtown and ride the 7 train every morning and evening.
You can always move and take a different train into the city. But if your job and THAT apartment is incredibly important to you , then the horrible commute is part of the price you have to pay.
The reason riders complain is taxes which are supposed to be used for the MTA gets siphoned to state government programs. For example, 143 million in 2010.
This has been happening for decades and it’s why the system is so dilapidated that the MTA declared a state of emergency this year. The signals were from the 1930’s, which is a LONG TIME for an upgrade. There’s so much talk about the 10 year signal renovation which was just completed on the 7 Train because the rollout has been bumpy.
So it’s about more than CHOOSING to ride the train to Manhattan (are you advocating driving?), it’s about a fundamental breakdown of government since we voted for the money to go to one place and it went to another.
Bike Lanes reduce crowding on the trains, perhaps but also take away revenue.
Then, what about the bikers who tote their bikes on the train and pay no extra fee? In fact bikers contribute nothing for all the benefits they receive. Time to register them and collect reasonable fees for the added infrastrure costs.
I can’t remember the last time I saw someone with a bike on the train. If it happens, it’s extremely rare.
You must not ride the train much, SWS.
I see people with a bicycle on the train at least once a week!
There’s no point in arguing with you- I can’t support my claim any more than you can but I feel as if you are greatly exaggerating. The vast majority of 7 train riders do not have their bike with them and it’s a very rare situation to board a 7 train and encounter one. You know this and any regular 7 train rider knows this.
Bikers contribute by reducing both car and subway use. Reducing car use reduces pollution, which benefits everyone that breathes–a substantial majority of us.
They also pay taxes, which fund the subways, roads and other public services, just like anyone else.
I might also note that car owners reduce revenue by getting free parking on the streets (where that occurs). Free on-street parking costs us a lot.
Institute a fee for parking on the street if you want to increase revenues. We can and should use that to contribute to public transportation services.
Wonderful, then bike riders should not be against paying for registration and insurance and be truly held accountable to traffic regulations.
No problem with additional parking meters but sidewalk clutter bikes should also pay or simply purchase a permit to park. NO FREE LUNCH for anyone.
Let’s start by making automobiles accountable for regulations. I see drivers breaking regs multiple times every day. Cyclists? Sure, they should follow the rules too, but the major offenders on traffic laws are automobiles.
The registration argument for cyclists? How does that work? Does it apply to kids? Even if we did it, I think it would wind up being pretty small potatoes in the grand scheme of things.
I’m not talking about additional parking meters. I’m talking about making every on the street parker pay for that real estate they’re using for free, thereby shrinking our streets and using public land for placement of their personal property.
They should follow the law as a , Suggestion”, or is it the law.
Registration is very simple, could be done through the same offices that do City ID and an ID chip in every bike.
In Nantucket, 50 years ago anyone over 12 had to get a copy of the rules of the road and EVERY bike had a plate.
Not so difficult.
It’s been demonstrated repeatedly that bikers benefit a community and that the majority of bikers obey traffic regulations. You are probably someone who refuses to acknowledge the truth and will claim that bikers are all menacing lawbreakers who constantly run down little old ladies on their way to church.
Bikes are NOT motor vehicles and therefore do not require further regulation; they are rarely involved in situations where someone is hurt or where there is property damage so insurance is pointless. “Sidewalk clutter” is basically non-existent, certainly not as common as people like yourself who are so irrationally anti-bike that they will just make stuff up to further their opinion and be taken seriously.
Really, demonstrated by lobby groups like Transportation Alternatives Or Street Blog ?
Bikes according to some here should freely ride in the streets against traffic, the wrong way in the bike lanes, on the sidewalks because they are ” Not vehicles “.
Sorry, they utilize the roads, they are required to obey the traffic laws and the insanity of the motor assisted bikes being not subject to license is insane.
They should simply contribute to the transportation system and to the funds being spent on their behalf.
Agasin, NO FREE LUNCH>
Please STOP sounding so IGNORANT. (And go back to Nantucket.)
Good idea. I just looked it up, and the registration fee of a car is $50/year. Divide that by the relative weight of a car to a bike and that’s… about 31 cents/year.
Also factor in mind a bike doesn’t require a massive amount of public space to park and has zero emissions (unless you had lunch at Chipotle), so it should be even less than that. Factor in the health benefits of biking and the positive impact it will have on the city budget, they should be paying us, but I’ll be generous and say we’ll pay 10 cents instead. Fair?
The legalization of marijuana in New York State will provide billions of dollars in revenue that will go to fixing and updating the subway.
Bikers reduce pollution, which benefits everyone.
People with cars will ignorantly disagree with you, Carbie Barbie.
Since it’s logical reasoning, of course biking reduces pollution. But car lovers will never believe it, and they’ll keep throwing thumb tacks on the road which we’ll have to dodge.
So, if someone disagrees with your agenda their ignorant.
You mean “they’re” as in “they are.”
The 7 is still a nightmare? Not shocked- I hoof it to Northern Blvd daily now to get the R. It’s a night and day difference!!
Imagine how much easier that will be once Citibike expands to Sunnyside. Get to other trains in 5 minutes, and not have to worry about locking up your bike and picking it up later. That’ll take a lot of pressure off the 7.
Why not give it a couple of weeks before FREAKING THE EFF OUT? Let them sort out the final kinks. What good is a town hall going to do?
A couple of weeks of getting to work late? I’ll tell my boss he shouldn’t freak the eff out.
How about adapting to the hiccups of an upgrade that was ten years in the making, get up earlier.If the citizens want better service, there should be a special vote to raise the fares to pay for it.
Think about your statement “ten years in the making”. That is the crux of the anger. We’ve given the idiots ten years already.
Let us ride for free while the kinks are worked out then..
We have a railroad branch right at Main Street that was once the primary way the people of Flushing got into the city. So, if the seven train is over-crowded, add some LIRR trains and create a City-ticket from Main Street to Penn Station or Atlantic Terminal. Price it as cheaply as possible and relieve some of the strain on that line. Everything old is new again.
This is a great idea. Let people board with their Metrocards, even.
I would sign this petition in a heartbeat!
Wouldn’t it be great if Bezos and Shamazon were able to contribute $3 billion to fixing the train line they’re going to add 50,000 commuters to?
7 train service is great! — it is efficient, runs on schedule and frequently — during U.S. Open; anything for the rich white folks of Westchester, Connecticut, and Manhattan and the tourists.
Are you nuts? I ride the train every day including weekend and it’s far from that. You must be a troll, since only a troll would make such an ignorant statement
Did you happen to finish reading the comment you posted on or just the first 5 words?
Are you uneducated and illiterate? Read the comment — …During U.S. Open…
That was meant to be a shot at MTA and 7 train that During U.S. Open, 7 train seems to be running efficiently, but, and while, on a regular basis it is a horror show. Look up the word troll and look yourself in the mirror; that’s the meaning and its looks.
Sorry, I didn’t catch your sarcasm right away.
Forgive my troll comment, my bad. I’ll save that for the bike haters.
Gerald don’t be so obtuse!
Amazon has a solution: drones. They can use drones to pick people up and deliver them to their desired destinations. No more need for unreliable 7 trains. Coming soon in 2020!
I keep telling you it will take 25 years before a new tunnel is built and you will have reliable service. And reverse commuting to flushing or kew gardens is the only solution, plenty of seats at 8am going that way.
Yes, so you’ve mentioned over and over again. We’re all glad you are going the other from the rest of us during rush hour. Please keep us posted on the exciting employment scene in Kew Gardens.
$600 million dollars wasted. Whoever was in charge of this project should go to jail. These people are never held accountable. This line should have been torn down decades ago.
The 7 needs fixing, big time.
But in the interim, how about upgrading bus service and really enforcing bus lanes? And redesigning the routes, maybe?
I see cars constantly blocking bus stops.
Also, all of QB and the bridge should have a bus-only lane. Add that to increased service, and you’ve got a workable solution while they figure out the much bigger projects.
Sounds like someone we know. Ducking the hard questions!!
Jimmy trying to make amends for screwing the neighborhood with the obnoxious bike lanes.
Don’t agree with the wasteful bike lanes. But Jimmy Van B works for us.
The bike lanes reduce crowding on the trains.
NO, it does not! Not when there are maybe six people riding to Manhattan! Keep dreaming.
SHOUTING! It’s fun!
Try this: Stand out on Skillman for 15 minutes during typical inbound rush hours. Count how many bikes you see.
Do the same thing on 43rd during outbound hours. In my experience (I often walk stretches on both avenues at those times) I see about a bike per minute. Yes, I’ve counted, with the timer on my phone. Because I’m dorky like that. Maybe those were flukes. But I’ve done it several times (again, dorky) and that result has been repeated multiple times.
Oh, don’t forget to report me for CYBER CRIMES, as you threatened to do last time I responded to you.
7 train service is an embarrassment. It seems to be getting worse, too.