Tag Archives: 7 train

Falling debris causes disruptions on the 7 line in Flushing


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo via Twitter/@NYPD109Pct

Watch out below!

Service on the 7 line was disrupted Saturday afternoon due to a construction accident when a crane hoisting construction materials to stores’ rooftops broke and spilled its cargo onto the tracks at Roosevelt Avenue and College Point Boulevard in Flushing.

The incident took place at about 1 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, when the falling debris caused smoke and a small fire to spark on the tracks, according to reports.

Service was suspended between Roosevelt Avenue and Mets-Willets Point for several hours during the afternoon as crews worked to remove the debris from the tracks and are conducting an investigation for any damage.

Though train service was running normally by 7 p.m., with a Mets game scheduled at Citi Field, the team advised fans on Twitter hours before the game to allow additional travel time and use alternate means.

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Queens Courier reporter challenges Queens 10K


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy NYRR

A challenge of speed this was not.

I quickly realized the New York Road Runners (NYRR) Queens 10K would have talented, serious marathoners when about 9,000 runners gathered at Flushing Meadows Corona Park on Sunday despite a night of rain and threatening gray skies above.

Thankfully the forecasted showers held off, but my finish time of 48:52 shouldn’t be considered fast when the male first-place finisher Ayele Megersa Feisa clocked in at 30:14 minutes and female winner Etaferahu Temesgen finished at 33:16.

I ran in part to see if the NYRR met its self-regulated goal to produce a race that promotes and represents the borough. And kudos to NYRR for keeping the 6.2-mile race in Flushing Meadows for more than two decades as it highlights many of Queens’ jewels on the course.

“The park has so many beautiful iconic structures,” said Peter Ciaccia, NYRR’s president, events and TCS New York City Marathon race director. “To go through the whole course and see the museum, see the Unisphere, run past Citi Field, it’s pretty cool.”


Running around this landmark-filled green space is like a trip to a museum, and this year competitors raced through a transforming park.

We passed the expanding Billie Jean King National Tennis Center and enormous cranes roofing Arthur Ashe Stadium. We saw the New York State Pavilion, which is being rehabilitated, and curved around Meadow Lake, which is being restored.

Then there’s Citi Field, where the New York Mets have been rebuilding for some time, and towards the end, we wrapped around the revitalized Queens Museum, and passed by the Unisphere — the “World’s Borough’s” symbol — before coming to the finish line.

It is undoubtedly a fun race that showcases much of what the borough has to offer, but the truth is the Queens 10K can still do more to accentuate Queens.

Those familiar with Queens know its famous structures well, but for foreigners of the borough, if some signage existed along the course maybe it would help runners develop further interest in them.

And while the Queens 10K serves as the borough’s representative in the Five-Borough Series, I found it weird that Queens — the largest borough by land mass — has the shortest race. I was told for logistical reasons it wouldn’t be a good idea to expand the race in Flushing Meadows. But because it is smaller it is viewed as an easier event for some running clubs.

I had one problem with the actually course road itself: there were crater-size pot holes around the Meadow Lake section that we had to hop and dodge. The Parks Department should take care of that before next year’s event.

Post-race, there was a fun festival with games for children, a raffle and food vendors. It’s a brilliant idea, but while there was an array of food trucks that frequent Manhattan, I was disappointed that Queens’ reputation as being a hot spot for diverse food wasn’t highlighted by the inclusion of more local food businesses.

The 7 train’s reputation for being shoddy was witnessed by many runners though. The Flushing-bound line had delays that prevented some runners from getting to the starting line on time. This isn’t helpful to promote the race or the borough. While the NYRR is not at fault, it did acknowledge the problem and is trying to appease affected runners.

Recognizing that the race could use a tune-up, next year the NYRR will turn to local runners to find ways to add even more Queens spirit to the event.

“There are a couple of running clubs out here in Queens that are interested [in showcasing the borough more],” Ciaccia said, “so I want to work with them over the course of this year and see what tweaks they are interested in.”

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Sunnyside performance series to kick off under 7 train


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Street Beat Brass Band

A Sunnyside pedestrian plaza will become a new venue for the arts starting this month as two local groups launch a series bringing free performances to the surrounding community.

The Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District and the coalition ReCreate Queens have come together to kick off a new series called “Third Thursdays in Bliss Plaza,” expected to bring entertainment from Queens-based musicians and performers.

In March, the groups launched a crowdfunding campaign with a goal of $5,000, in hopes of bringing the new series to Bliss Plaza, which opened last October under the 7 train at Queens Boulevard and 46th Street.

The series received initial funding from the Queens Council on the Arts and the rest came from the successful campaign.

Bliss Plaza (Photo by Angy Altamirano)

Bliss Plaza (Photo by Angy Altamirano)

“We are really looking forward to programming this great new public space,” 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.”

The series, which kicks off on June 18 with a performance by the Sunnyside-based Street Beat Brass Band, will bring a new act to the plaza on the third Thursday of each month through October. Each performance will go from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

According to organizers, “Third Thursdays in Bliss Plaza” will not only delight commuters but also serve to highlight the vital role artists play in the community.

“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 are able to pay our artists what they deserve and establish an annual series that will grow over time. We can’t wait to launch this new tradition.”

The performances include the following:

July 16 – Alí Bello & The Sweet Wire Band
Aug. 20 – Dilemastronauta
Sept. 17 – McManus Irish Dance
Oct. 15 – Afro Latineers

For a detailed schedule, click here.

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Rego Park woman sentenced for fatally pushing man in front of 7 train


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo via Wikimedia Commons/Daniel Schwen

A Rego Park woman began a 24-year prison sentence Wednesday for pushing a man to his death at a 7 train station in Sunnyside more than two years ago.

Erika Menendez, 33, pled guilty in March of this year to a manslaughter charge for killing Sunnando Sen, 46, at the 40th Street station on the night of Dec. 27, 2012.

According to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, Menendez was seen talking to herself and pacing on the platform at about 8 p.m. that evening. Moments later, she shoved Sen from behind off the platform and into an arriving Manhattan-bound 7 train.

Sen was pronounced dead a short time later from blunt force trauma.

During questioning, Menendez reportedly claimed she attacked Sen, whom she believed was a Muslim, because she hated “Hindus and Muslims ever since” the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Her prior record includes attacking a fire department battalion chief in June 2003 in front of his home on Palmetto Street in Ridgewood.

“[Menendez] committed what is every subway commuter’s worst nightmare — being suddenly and senselessly pushed into the path of an oncoming train,” Brown said in a statement Wednesday. “The victim was shoved from behind and had no chance to defend himself… [Her] actions clearly show that she is a threat to society and deserving of today’s sentence.”

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7 train rider exposes himself to woman: cops


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

A man exposed himself to a woman on the 7 train, fleeing at a nearby Queens station, but not before his victim captured his face with her cellphone camera, police said.

The incident happened aboard a Manhattan-bound train on April 26 at about 3:30 p.m.

According to authorities, the suspect exposed himself to the 31-year-old victim while staring at her as the train entered the 103rd Street-Corona Plaza station. He then exited the train at the 74th Street stop in Jackson Heights.

Police have identified the suspect as Roger Almeida, a 61-year-old Hispanic man described as 5 feet 7 inches tall, 175 pounds with brown eyes and gray hair. He was last seen wearing a gray jacket and white sneakers.

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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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 be to 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 comparing commute times in 29 major American cities, New Yorkers have the worst commute in the country. Additionally, 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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