It is official, the Main Street Flushing No. 7 line subway cracked into the top busiest stations of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority last year. The other nine most heavily used stations are all in Manhattan.
In fact, even though it serves just one line which begins and ends there, it handled an awesome 18.6 million riders.
By comparison, less than a block away is the lowly step child of the MTA – the Main Street Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) station. Its entrance is virtually hidden from view at street level. Its elevated platform stands open to the elements and without elevator access. It is garbage strewn and impossible for handicapped entry. Simply put it has been and continues to be a disgrace.
Twenty-three bus lines call Main Street Flushing their depot. Many of those riders pouring off the hundreds of buses a day feed into the No. 7 line for the trip into the heart of Queens and under the East River into Manhattan’s Midtown area.
Even though the No. 7 line was renovated 12 years ago, several community leaders are determined to persuade the MTA to add bathrooms and enlarge the mezzanine level.
They are thinking the Penn Station of Queens.
We think that is a noble and attainable goal too. But first the “Lost Station” of the LIRR must be transformed and connected to the subway. They did it at Grand Central and Penn Station.
Main Street has become a destination for food and shopping. Its potential for growth with the ongoing building projects in Downtown Flushing and nearby Willets Point is astronomical.
We call on the MTA to give some serious planning to upgrade the LIRR station which is near its platform capacity and plan for the ever growing ridership.