May 2, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez
Constant shutdowns, delayed deadlines, and ongoing work along the 7 line are just some of Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, Congressman Joe Crowley, and Access Queens’ gripes against the MTA.
The three will hold a rally Thursday morning in Sunnyside to demand that the MTA and New York City Transit Authority do better for Queens by upping 7 train service.
Van Bramer told the Sunnyside Post that commuters like himself have been experiencing “dreadful” trips on the 7 line in recent weeks.
“We’ve been experiencing incredible delays and outages and crowded platforms even worse than the service we normally get,” Van Bramer said.
Recent news of further delays to the MTA’s years-long modern signal project on the line have made the situation unbearable, he adds.
The contractors in charge of installing the signal system recently told New York City Transit that work wouldn’t be completed until November due to ongoing design and software issues. The new deadline is several months past the late June deadline they had pegged before–one of several deadlines past the expected 2016 completion date for the project.
“They cannot keep setting deadlines and then yet again blow through them time and time again. We need a firm deadline. We need real information.”
Melissa Orlando, founder and Executive Director of Access Queens, said the constant problems on the 7-line, including delays on the signal system installation are a quality of life issue. She adds that service along the line must be better, especially when displaced L train riders are expected to head to the 7 train in Court Square next year.
“The people of Queens cannot wait any longer for the MTA to get its act together,” Orlando said. “There must be penalties for every day this project is late, and MTA leadership must be held accountable.”
Van Bramer and Access Queens will also demand that the new NYCT President, Andy Byford, come out to western Queens to listen to 7 train riders in an emergency town hall. Van Bramer first called for Byford to come to Queens when he assumed his post in January.
“We are demanding he come and address the people,” Van Bramer said. “We are demanding from the MTA and NYCT an update on the work being done along the line, and that they start to work with the community again.”
The councilmember said Byford’s recent comments on potentially having more outages along the 7 line to speed up work are “explosive” and bewildering.
“I don’t know what they mean,” Van Bramer said. They haven’t updated any of us or told us what that would look like. How can we even comment on that when they have not approached anyone with detailed plans?”
The upcoming rally follows a rally held in late January, where Van Bramer and Woodside businesses said the MTA was wreaking havoc on their neighborhood for their prolonged work on the 7-line tracks there.
Tomorrow’s rally also follows an announcement made by the MTA today on a $45 million contract awarded for structural steel repair and overcoat painting along a considerable portion of the 7 line.
In a statement, MTA spokesperson Shams Tarek said MTA Chairman Lhota recently toured the 7 line with Van Bramer and local officials ahead of the new paint and repair job announcement today.
“Also this past month, Transit President Byford told MTA Board members that he’s very unhappy about delays and is aggressively pushing the contractor installing the brand-new signal system on the 7 line to work harder and complete the job sooner than the contractor’s new projection,” Tarek said. “We appreciate our customers’ patience while these projects are underway.”
The rally will take place at 8 a.m. at the 40th-Lowery Street Station in Sunnyside.
Update 5/2, 5:35 P.M. – Statement from MTA added
Ben Kallos does what JVB doesn’t – represent his constituents. Google Ben Kallos to see all the things he does while JVB poses for photo ops.
This was the only day that the trains ran well this week. Coincidence?!?!
Suffer you hipsters, you all want to work in Manhattan and the subway is overcapacity for the next 25 years until a new tunnel is built
or if the LIRR finally makes a sunnyside stop you could petition to get a shuttle service to Grand Central.
Or reverse commute to Jamacia its empty at 9 am in that direction
Silly goose. The hipsters are skateboarding, cycling or levitating until their jetpacks are provided.
you’re funny. you think hipsters work? lolz. and why would you think workers have any influence where a company is located? can hipsters magically move a company out of manhattan and into queens?
Nobody wants to work in Jamaica.
Ok Kew Gardens the trains ARE EMPTY AT 8-9 AM…..
Maybe jvb should try harder to bring city bikes to sunnyside . It will help people a lot because the 7 trains will get better only when it will be run by Artificial intelligence.
maybe jvb should say enough is enough with all of this building and half of these
buildings have a stop work order on them
WTF, the 7 takes dirst place every year on the straphangers top subway list?! A little maintenance on a 1oo year old subway line, you gotta expect that.
You are a sad pathetic train buff or an MTA employee or both. The methodology of the Straphangers Campaign is a joke. ” If the MTA tells us in advance we can’t hold it against the line”. If a subway line doesn’t run overnight or on weekends on a quarter of the line over and over again for 15 years it should not even be part of any survey.
Get out of your house once in a while and you’ll see how bad the 7 train is.
I use to ride the D-train when I lived in Brooklyn. It was generally more consistent and on time than the 7 train is and has been for the last eight years that I have known it. I am not sure how it beats that or the N train on the list.
Amazing what the candidacy of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has already produced! Prior to her running for Joe Crowley’s seat, I don’t think he knew what the letters MTA stood for or had ever rode the 7 train in his 14 years of representing Woodside, Corona and Sunnyside. On another point, it’s unfortunate that Access Queens is allowing Jimmy Van Bramer to turn Thursday’s 7 train event into a campaign rally for Joe Crowley who is facing a contested election on June 26th for the first time in 14 years.
Another fake protest
Will jimmy walk over the bridge with his sign?
Or his hat
Yeah! Let’s organize a counter protest to create worse 7 train service!
Just don’t make signs or walk over any bridges, okay everyone? Everybody knows those are the tactics of fakes.
Service will only get worse with the new signal system. Train will just sit right behind each other if there is a delay. God forbid they have a computer glitch
Mr. JVB rarely takes the subway
Anonymous – Prove it stalker. I’ve ridden the subway on several occasion with JVB.
yes you did for a photo-op
JVB lives and works in Sunnyside and surely does not ride the 7 daily to commute to his office like most of us do. That is indeed a fact but is in no way relevant to the issue. He’s a dedicated and more-than-capable member of the city council and I’m glad he lives in my neighborhood (no, we’re not acquainted.)
Are you his mother?