Tag Archives: 7 train

Transit advocates challenge Cuomo to ride the 7 line


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo via Gov.Cuomo's Flickr/File photo

Fed up with rising fares and poor subway service, members of the Riders Alliance and the Straphangers Campaign wrote a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo inviting him to take a ride on the 7 line during the morning rush hour.

The purpose of this ride-along, the transit advocacy groups said, would give the governor a firsthand look at the city’s public transit system and get him to agree to fully fund the MTA’s five-year capital program, which currently faces a $15 billion shortfall.

“It defies comprehension that Gov. Cuomo hasn’t taken up the issue of funding for our subways and buses,” said Nick Sifuentes, deputy director of the Riders Alliance. “The only reason we can think of is that he doesn’t have to deal with the dreadful rush hour commutes that average New Yorkers face every day.”

According to a report by City Comptroller Scott Stringer, the commute for New Yorkers is one of the longest, and a report by the New York Post provides MTA data that shows delays have increased in recent years.

“New Yorkers are paying more for less and they hate that,” said Gene Russianoff, senior attorney for the Straphangers Campaign.

If the MTA’s five-year capital program, which pays for new subway cars, buses, commuter rail trains, modern signals, track and station upgrades, as well as supporting expansions like the Second Avenue Subway, does not get fully funded, commuters will feel the consequences with more fare hikes.

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office has reported that for every $1 billion that the MTA must borrow for its capital plan with no new revenue sources, it could be forced to raise fares an additional 1 percent.

“New Yorkers are fed up with fare hikes, bad service, and overcrowded trains — we’ve been hearing from frustrated riders for months,” Sifuentes said. “It’s about time the governor does too.”

The letter specifically asks Cuomo to join riders “on the 7 train, which is over capacity daily and which was recently stuck in a tunnel after yet another equipment failure during the morning rush.” It also asks him to ride other problem-plagued lines such as the C train in Brooklyn.

Public transit supporters will hold a rally on Tuesday, May 5 at noon on the steps of City Hall to call for greater investment by the city in its subway and bus system.

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Suspect wanted for groping woman on 7 train: NYPD


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police are looking for a 25-year-old man who allegedly groped a woman on the 7 train Saturday afternoon.

At about 3:30 p.m. the victim, a 23-year-old woman, was riding the train southbound near the 74th Street and Broadway station when the suspect grabbed her buttocks, according to authorities. The woman then turned around and took a photo of the suspect who then fled the train.

The suspect is described as a Hispanic man, 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighing 180 pounds.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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MTA will boost service on 7, L and M lines later this year


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

File photo

With overall subway ridership up 2.6 percent across the city, the MTA is set to meet the increased demand by boosting service on three local subway lines this December.

Most of the changes will take place during off-peak hours, as the MTA reported ridership between or after rush hour periods reached its highest rate in 65 years in 2014, with more than 1.75 billion riders systemwide.

The biggest boost will take place on the L line, with seven additional round trips added between 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. on weekdays. Ridership on the L line — which services Ridgewood and Bushwick — grew 4.7 percent last year, the largest increase of any line in the system.

According to the MTA, the seven additional trains will reduce wait times on the L line to five minutes between the morning and evening rush hours. Last fall, the MTA similarly enhanced L train service during weeknight and weekend periods.

The MTA will also introduce two additional round trips on the 7 line — which services the rapidly-growing neighborhoods of Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside and Flushing — between 8 and 10:20 p.m. on weeknights. The agency said this will reduce wait times to under 4 1/2 minutes.

This service increase is expected to ease commuting, in particular, out of the Vernon Boulevard-Jackson Avenue station in Long Island City, which experienced a 12 percent growth in weekday ridership in 2014; and at the Flushing-Main Street terminal, which averages about 60,000 riders each day.

Finally, the M line will get an extra round trip just after the morning rush hour, between 9 and 9:30 a.m., reducing wait times to an average of 7 1/2 minutes. Since the line was rerouted in 2010 through Midtown Manhattan and northwest Queens (replacing the defunct V line), M train ridership is up about 31 percent, with an average increase of 6.2 percent at stations between Metropolitan Avenue in Middle Village and Marcy Avenue in Williamsburg.

“New York is a dynamic city and it continues to grow as new or better housing options become available and more people come here for jobs or school,” said MTA New York City Transit President Carmen Bianco. “By making these schedule changes, New York City Transit is making the most of its resources to deliver service that accurately reflects ridership in growing areas.”

The MTA plans to spend $1.6 million to implement the additional service.

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Man exposes himself to woman on 7 train: NYPD


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo/Photo courtesy of NYPD

A man riding on the 7 line exposed himself to a female straphanger as the train was approaching the Junction Boulevard station in Corona, police said.

The incident happened about 8:30 a.m. on March 20 aboard a Manhattan-bound train, according to authorities.

As the train was pulling into the stop at Junction Boulevard and Roosevelt Avenue, the victim, a 25-year-old woman, saw the suspect standing in front of her and exposing himself, police said. The man then exited the train at the Woodside/61st Street station.

The suspect is described as an Asian male in his 60s, about 6 feet tall, 180 pounds, with brown eyes and gray hair.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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Disabled 7 train disrupts morning service between Queens and Manhattan


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

File photo

Updated 10:49 a.m.

Service on the 7 line between Long Island City and Manhattan has been restored with delays after a two-hour disruption due to a disabled train, according to the MTA.

Sources said train crews reported a smoke condition on a 7 train near Grand Central Station at about 8:34 a.m., causing the train to stop between stations.

Upon further investigation, MTA workers determined that the smoke emanated from a contact shoe touching the third rail, which powers the train.

Power was turned off, and the MTA dispatched a rescue train to get all passengers safely off the disabled train and sent to Grand Central Station, an MTA spokesperson said.

All 7 train service between Hunters Point Avenue and Grand Central was halted as crews worked to remove the passengers and resolve the situation. According to the MTA’s website, at 10:32 a.m. 7 line service was restored, but with delays in both directions.

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Campaign started to bring new performance series to Sunnyside plaza


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

Two groups are coming together to raise funds to bring a new performance series underneath the elevated 7 train in Sunnyside this summer.

The Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District and the coalition ReCreate Queens, which aims to build more creative spaces in Sunnyside and Woodside, launched a crowdfunding campaign on Friday in hopes of bringing a new series to Bliss Plaza.

Bliss Plaza is a new pedestrian plaza that opened last October in Sunnyside underneath the elevated 7 subway line at the intersection of 40th Street and Queens Boulevard.

The campaign, which has a goal set at $5,000, will fund a new monthly performance series called “Third Thursdays in Bliss Plaza” scheduled to start in June and run through October. It will provide local professional musicians and performers a public venue, making the plaza home to free concerts and a new site for culture and performance.

“Now that we have this great public space in the neighborhood, it’s time to program it,” said Rachel Thieme, executive director of Sunnyside Shines. “Bringing arts programming to Bliss Plaza helps create a more dynamic place and generates foot traffic and activity in the neighborhood, which benefits businesses, residents and visitors alike.”

ReCreate Queens launched a public call at the beginning of the month for performing artists, and submissions are due Friday.

“As a coalition of neighbors and creative professionals who want to ensure that the arts thrive in the area, it’s critical to us to showcase local artists and make their work accessible for everyone,” said Nancy Kleaver, founding member of ReCreate Queens. “With support from the community we will be able to pay our artists what they deserve, create a professional, festive performance area, and establish an annual series that will grow over time.

The series received initial funding from the Queens Council on the Arts and the first $1,000 donated through the online campaign will be match by the Neighborhood Plaza Partnership.

To donate, click here.

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Queens N, Q and 7 train riders share ‘subway horror stories’


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Riders Alliance

Subway riders were given a platform Tuesday morning — the N, Q and 7 train platform to be exact — to share their angst of trying to catch a train in New York City.

As part of a weeklong citywide initiative to collect subway riders’ “horror stories,” the organization Riders Alliance, dedicated to winning better transit, gathered at the Queensboro Plaza subway station Tuesday morning to get riders of the N, Q and 7 trains to share their tales.

The decision to collect these stories arises after a drastic increase in complaints from Riders Alliance members. The complaints include signal malfunctions, unexplained train delays and general “deteriorating service” in the past weeks, according to Riders Alliance.

“Our transit system is better in every way than it was in the 1980s, but if we don’t invest the funds to maintain it, we’ll see the bad old days come back,” said John Raskin, executive director of the Riders Alliance.

On Tuesday, riders were asked by Riders Alliance members to share their experiences and write them on a piece of paper provided of the organization that read, “My subway horror story is…”

“I rely on the 7 train to get me from Queens to work in the Upper West Side. But lately, weekend and late night service on the 7 train has been a joke,” said Carol Crump, a Rider Alliance member, who added that at times, she has to resort to taking a bus or car service. “We need a well-funded capital plan that will provide the money for countdown clocks, service announcements and faster trains.”

The stories, which can also be submitted online at www.ridersny.org/horror-stories, will be compiled and later presented to Governor Andrew Cuomo and different members of the state legislature.

In the upcoming months, a decision will have to be made whether or not to fund the MTA’s proposed over-$30 billion 2015-2019 capital plan.

“Signal problems have stranded me at night several times in the past year on the N/Q,” said Emily Hultman, another Riders Alliance member. “It isn’t safe to be kicked off a train to fend for yourself in a deserted part of town at night, especially when the only options to complete the trip are buses that run twice an hour or less. I pay my MTA fee to get all the way home, safely.”

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Mention Manhattan in listings for quickest Queens home sales


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Modern Spaces

For many, the 7 train is synonymous with sudden delays and shutdowns, but mentioning the line in a real estate listing could put the property on the fast track to a sale.

Queens homes listed with references of easy access to Manhattan, such as the “7 train,” “minutes away,” and “Midtown Manhattan,” sell quicker than others, according to a report by real estate website StreetEasy.com, indicating that many home buyers prioritize access across the East River.

“Getting around easily is top of mind for Queens home buyers,” said StreetEasy data scientist Alan Lightfeldt. “The borough’s larger units, new development buzz and relatively lower sales prices are major draws, but buyers jump at listings that highlight a relatively easy commute to the city.”

The firm analyzed thousands of listings to find which word pairs were associated with the fastest selling properties. “Subway lines” and “short walk” were also among the list of words that contributed to the fastest selling properties in Queens.

StreetEasy also performed an analysis to find the best months to lists homes in the borough for the quickest turnaround.

March is the best time for sellers to list their properties, according to the analysis, which is based on past supply, demand and sales data on StreetEasy.com.

Lightfeldt said historically highest demand for properties in New York City is in April, while top supply is in June. He added that listings sell faster before demand and supply peak.

“Properties listed before supply and demand both peak are the ones that hit the sweet spot,” Lightfeldt said. “The discount rate is historically low in March as well, meaning the seller may get a greater share of their original asking price if they list now.”

Click here to see the full report.

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Subway problems continue to plague Queens riders after 7 train service returns


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Ice buildup on the third rail along the No. 7 line.

Updated 12:19 p.m.

Service on the No. 7 train between Queens and Manhattan was back by the Tuesday morning commute, but subway problems continued to disrupt straphangers in the borough.

After ice built up on the third rail and a train lost power near Queensboro Plaza at about 9:30 a.m. on Monday, suspending service for most of the day, limited service on the No. 7 line returned early the next day between Times Square and Flushing Main Street.

Though the service was back, the MTA said it was limited and for commuters to expect delays and crowding, suggesting a transfer at 74 St-Broadway for E, F, M and R service into Manhattan, if possible. 

But there was more frustration for riders when at about 10 a.m. service was suspended on the N, Q and R trains between Queens Plaza/Queensboro Plaza and 57 St-7 Ave, which was reportedly due to a smoke condition at Lexington-59th St. About an hour later, northbound R trains were running, but on the F line from 57 St to Jackson Hts-Roosevelt Avenue. Service and all three lines didn’t fully return until almost two hours later.

The Queens Courier staff member and Astoria resident Katrina Medoff, who normally takes the No. 7 train to Flushing and transfers to the LIRR to get to the publication’s Bayside office, decided to take the LIRR from Penn Station. But in avoiding possible delays on one line, she encountered serious delays on the Manhattan-bound E, F, M and R trains she need to get to Penn.

The whole process took her almost two hours, instead of the normal one-hour commute.

Tuesday’s continuing service disruptions follow Monday’s massive suspension on the No. 7 train that left riders stuck on the subway for several hours.

The stalled train that got stuck near Queensboro Plaza had to be pulled back into the station by another train after riders were stranded for about two hours. Four more trains that were stopped between stations had to head back to the 61st-Woodside stop.

About 30 minutes before the train stalled, an umbrella was dropped on the third rail at 52nd Street and caught fire, rerouting service from the express tracks for about 40 minutes. An MTA spokeswoman could not confirm if the umbrella ultimately led to the ice buildup and power loss of the other train.

Suspensions continued throughout Monday as the tracks had to be de-iced, forcing riders to take shuttle buses provided by the MTA and other trains as alternatives. By the late afternoon shuttle train service returned between Flushing-Main St and 74 St-Broadway.

For service updates, visit www.mta.info,

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7 train suspended following ice on third rail


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

Updated 4:36 p.m.

Icy conditions were causing headaches for more than just drivers in Queens on Monday.

Service was suspended on the No. 7 train in both directions beginning that morning after ice built up on the third rail and a train lost power, according to an MTA spokeswoman.

The stalled train, which got stuck near Queensboro Plaza about 9:30 a.m., had to be pulled back into the station by another train after riders were stuck for about two hours. Four more trains that were stopped between stations had to head back to the 61st-Woodside stop.

“Would love to take an alternate train but I’m stuck on the train for an hour now in between stops,” Dmytro Fedkowskyj said, expressing his frustration through The Courier’s Facebook page.

Before the train stalled an umbrella was dropped on the third rail at 52nd Street 30 minutes earlier and caught fire.

Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito said at a storm update Monday afternoon that the dropped umbrella led to suspensions. Because trains were not running, ice built up on the rails.

But an MTA spokeswoman could not confirm that the incidents were related and said after the umbrella fell on the tracks local service was rerouted to the express tracks, but returned to normal by 9:40 a.m.

There is no word yet on when service will be restored, but according to the MTA, the rails must be de-iced before trains can run again.

There is currently shuttle train service between Flushing-Main St and 74 St-Broadway in both directions.

The MTA is providing shuttle buses between Vernon Blvd-Jackson Av and 74 St-Broadway in both directions, and the Long Island Rail Road is cross honoring at the following stations: Flushing, Mets-Willets Point, Woodside, Hunters Point and Penn Station

The line of commuters waiting for buses in Flushing was three blocks long, according to the 109th Precinct, which tweeted photos of the riders waiting in the freezing rain.

As an alternate the MTA is also advising riders to use E, F, R , N and Q train service or Q60 and/or Q32 bus service.

For service updates, visit www.mta.info,

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MTA to lift 7 train weekend suspensions for Lunar New Year


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

Flushing will usher in the Year of the Sheep without any obstacles from weekend shutdowns of No. 7 subway service, thanks to pressure from local elected officials.

The MTA has announced that it will forego weekend service disruptions during the week of and week before the Lunar New Year. It’s the first time in the MTA’s years-long winter construction that the No. 7 train will run uninterrupted during Lunar New Year.

The two weekends are Feb. 14-15 and Feb. 21-22. The first weekend is to accommodate people who travel to Flushing for holiday preparations and shopping. Lunar New Year follows on Feb. 22.

“While I understand the immense scale of overhauling the entire No. 7 line, I want to applaud the MTA for heeding the concerns of the Asian-American community and planning construction around the Lunar New Year holiday,” Senator Toby Stavisky said. “They’re sending a message that keeping this line open without interruption for this holiday is just as important as transporting fans to a Mets game or the U.S. Open.”

Stavisky was joined in the effort to persuade the MTA to change its weekend service schedule by Assemblyman Ron Kim and City Councilman Peter Koo.

“Flushing is known worldwide for its Lunar New Year celebrations and brings people far and wide to New York City every year,” Kim said. “The 7 train is essential for all those traveling to Flushing, and the Main Street hub is one of the busiest in New York City.  I hope that the MTA will continue to keep this tradition throughout the rest of the 7 line construction in the next few years.”

 “It is vital to many that the 7 line run at full capacity,” Koo said. “Families and friends can come together and celebrate without having to worry how they will get to their destination. And our local small businesses, many who rely on the holiday to boost sales, won’t lose customers due to any service disruptions.”

The MTA is in the midst of a $550 million capital project to upgrade the No. 7 line’s signal system to a state-of-the-art communications-based train control system. The project, which has been underway for several years, requiring the seasonal weekend disruptions, is set to be done in 2017.

Weekend disruptions in service began this month and will continue into May, with the exception of the two February weekends.

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More 7 train suspensions coming next year


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

Updated Dec. 22, 11:57 a.m. 

It’s déjà vu for No. 7 train riders.

The MTA recently announced its latest round of service suspensions on the subway line, slated to start right after the new year and continue through the spring.

The work is part of three capital improvement projects on the No. 7 train to install a new signal system, replace elevated track, perform infrastructure work, and reconstruct and fortify the Steinway tubes, according to the transit agency.

Most of the work is scheduled for the weekend and will disrupt service between Manhattan and Queens during the majority of the suspensions.

From Jan. 2-5 and Jan. 9-12, there will be no service between Mets-Willets Point and Flushing Main Street. From Jan. 9-12, Jan. 17-19, Jan. 24-26, Jan. 30-Feb. 2, and Feb. 6-9, there will be no trains between Times Square-42nd Street and Queensboro Plaza. From Feb. 27-Mar. 2 and Mar. 6-9, service is suspended between Times Square-42nd Street and 74th Street-Broadway. From Mar. 14-16, Mar. 21-23 and Mar. 28-30, there are no trains between Times Square-42nd Street and Hunters Point Avenue. From May 22-25, there will be no service between the Mets-Willets Point and Flushing Main Street.

During the suspensions, riders can use the E, F, G, N, Q and R lines as alternative service. There will also be free shuttle buses between Queensboro Plaza and Vernon Boulevard-Jackson Avenue.

The service disruptions are continuing despite pleas from western Queens residents and business owners who are fed up with years of constant disruptions on the line.

The service disruptions hit Long Island City and its local businesses hard. Though the MTA agreed to a campaign to promote Long Island City during the shut downs, the agency refused community and politicians’ requests for a shuttle bus from Vernon Boulevard through the Queens Midtown Tunnel into the city to make up for some of the lost subway service.

This year’s suspensions began in late winter and continued through the fall. When they started in early March, Long Island residents and businesses struggled the first weekend.

“It hurts us, there’s no doubt about it,” said Jeff Blath, owner of Alobar. “[The MTA] did not come to us and say, ‘What works the best for you guys?’ It’s just a multitude of problems and no communication.”

Now this time around, residents are feeling neglected by the transit agency and say they have to start thinking of ways to get around without depending on the No. 7 line.

“I’d like to say I’m surprised, but we all knew the MTA would do this to us again,” said 27-year-old Stefanie Torres, a LIC resident. “They forget about Long Island City. I guess now I have to figure out some other ways to get home.”

Stacey Higgins, 56, who uses the train to get to work and around the borough, is also upset the suspensions will happen again.

“Here we go again, that’s all I have to say,” Higgins added. “This is one of the only ways we as a community can get around, but they don’t care. Forget LIC. That’s their mentality.”

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15-story mixed-use building to rise on site of former Jackson Heights church


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Scott Bintner/PropertyShark 

Prayers for more housing in Jackson Heights will soon be answered.

Permits were filed to the Buildings Department on Monday to construct a 15-story, 139-unit mixed-use residential, retail and community building at the site of a former church located at 71-17 Roosevelt Ave., which is adjacent to the elevated 7 train tracks.

Gilman Architects is designing the building, which will have about 8,400 square feet for retail use and nearly 19,000 square feet for a community facility, according to New York YIMBY. There will also be 167 parking spaces.

Roosevelt 5 LLC, which owns the building, bought the property from New York Cho Dae Church last year for $7 million, according to city records.

The church closed and moved from the area earlier this year.

Demolition permits have yet to be filed at the site.

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7 train service resumes between Queens and Manhattan following smoke condition


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

Updated 3:27 p.m. 

No. 7 train service was suspended in both directions between Queens and Manhattan for more than two hours Monday due to a smoke condition, the MTA said.

The incident initially halted service between the Times Square and Queensboro Plaza stations around 11:30 a.m. The suspensions on both the express and local lines continued until about 2 p.m., with no trains between Hunters Point Avenue and the last stop in Manhattan. Main Street-bound 7 express train service did resume for almost another hour.

The cause of the smoke, which was located near First Avenue, is under investigation, according to an MTA spokesman.

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7 train weekend service suspensions continue through the fall


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

No. 7 train riders will not get any relief as service disruptions continue starting this weekend.

The first of five planned service suspensions for the line this fall between Queensboro Plaza and Times Square will start on Saturday, Oct. 18, according to the MTA.

This weekend, October 18-20 and the weekend of October 25-27, 7 trains will be suspended between Times Square-42 St and Queensboro Plaza in both directions from 2:00 a.m. Saturday, through 5 a.m. Monday.

During the weekends of November 8-10, November 15-17, and November 22-24, service will be suspended between Times Square-42 St and Queensboro Plaza in both directions from 11:30 p.m. Friday through 5:00 a.m. Monday.

The E, F, N, Q and S lines, and free shuttle buses will provide alternate service.

During the service suspensions, the MTA is advising customers to use the E, F, N or Q trains to travel between Manhattan and Queens. They can transfer between the 7 and E, F and R trains at 74 St-Roosevelt Av. Q service will be extended to and from Astoria-Ditmars Boulevard on Saturday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Free shuttle buses will operate between Vernon Boulevard-Jackson Avenue and Queensboro Plaza, making stops at Hunters Point Av, Court Sq and Queens Plaza.
In Manhattan, the 42 St S shuttle will also operate throughout the weekend from 12:01 a.m. Saturday night, to 6:00 a.m. Monday morning.

As another alternate, the Long Island Rail Road will cross honor and will accept displayed MetroCards from customers traveling in both directions between Penn Station and Woodside.

The suspensions are just the latest in a number of service disruptions along the same portion of the line that have taken place during the weekend this year and during many in past years, upsetting residents and business owners in the Long Island City area.

“The ongoing work on the 7 remains absolutely critical to the line’s reliability, safety and longevity. We understand that these service disruptions are inconvenient to the customers who depend on the 7 train and we appreciate their patience,” said MTA NYC Transit President Carmen Bianco in a statement. “When completed, this work will result in a more reliable subway line with the ability to run more trains and improve performance for growing neighborhoods in Queens.”

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