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.