After a closed preliminary meeting with elected officials and community leaders on Thursday, the MTA said it is willing to work with the community to create a marketing campaign for the neighborhood during the upcoming shutdowns.
Between Feb. 28 and July 21, there will be 13 weekend suspensions. Those dates are finalized but the agency also plans on holding nine tentative weekend shutdowns August through November.
“In terms of what we are more than willing to do is to work with the elected officials and the business owners on a marketing campaign for area businesses in Long Island City,” said MTA spokesperson Kevin Ortiz.
The campaign would include “pretty robust presence” at subway stations with brochures in different languages, posters, a homepage banner and information on the digital urban planners, said Ortiz.
The agency is also considering doing a two-side branded MetroCard with information on Long Island City.
In regards to the option offered by elected officials to have a shuttle bus service into the city, the MTA does not plan on implementing it because it is not a “viable alternative,” said Ortiz.
He added that it is quicker for the vast majority of passengers to take the E, N or Q lines into Manhattan and people will still be able to get into Long Island City.
“It’s just going to take a little bit longer,” said Ortiz.
Elected officials have also asked for ferry service to be increased during the time of the suspensions, but Ortiz said that option would have to be addressed by the city and the New York City Economic Development Corporation.
Ortiz added that the suspensions need to happen in order for certain tracks to be replaced to prevent future problems and increase the number of trains running on the No. 7 line.
The MTA plans to work together with the elected officials to hold meetings with the community. The dates are yet to be determined.