Tag Archives: 7 train

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.”


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.


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,


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,




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.


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.”


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.


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.








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.”



WATCH: Harlem Globetrotters surprise 7 train riders

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Screenshot via YouTube/Harlem Globetrotters

Queens straphangers were recently taken for a spin on the No. 7 train.

Following their annual two-week training camp in New York, the Harlem Globetrotters decided to celebrate with a trip from Queens to Times Square on the transit line and film the journey on Oct 3.

Decked out in their gear and armed with basketballs, the Globetrotters showed off their signature moves at several stops and for many traveling on the train.

They also had “Sweet Georgia Brown” playing on a Bluetooth speaker to entertain riders.

Led by 7-foot-4 Stretch Middleton and female star T-Time Brawner, nine members of the basketball troupe dazzled the young and old from different areas of the borough.

The video, which was just released Tuesday, shows the train stopping in Mets-Willets Point, 46th Street-Bliss Street and Woodside-61st Street.

Riders not only were spectators, but also took some lessons from the Globetrotters, who tried to teach them how to spin the ball on their fingers.

For the first time in their 89-year history, the Globetrotters will be in the New York City area during the holiday season from Saturday, Dec. 27, through Saturday, Jan. 3.

The holiday dates will be the Globetrotters’ only trip to the area during their new tour.
For the NYC-area schedule and tickets, click here.


Real estate roundup: 5Pointz demolition progress

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Jeremiah's Vanishing New York

5Pointz Falling

“You can see the destruction as you roll past on the 7 Train, looking down into rubble. And get a closer look on the ground, through a grimy plastic window in the plywood demolition fence.” Read more [Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York]

5Pointz Demo

Queens’ ‘Forgotten River’ Looks Ahead to Cleanup and Change

“The 12th hole of the Pitch ‘N Putt Golf Course in Flushing Meadows Park might seem like an odd place to contemplate the future of New York City’s coastline. But if you stand there long enough, you might begin to see things.” Read more [Curbed]

New Ozone Park Public School Set to Open in Sept. 2017

“The city School Construction Authority indicated last week that the new public school designated to be built on an empty lot in Ozone Park is approximately 60 percent of the way through the design phase.” Read more [The Forum] 

No. 7 rated best subway line: report

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo


Queens riders rejoice—the No. 7 train was rated the best New York City subway line.

This is the seventh time in 16 years the line has placed first in an annual review conducted by the transit advocacy group, Straphangers Campaign.

The “State of the Subways Report Card,” released every year since 1997, concluded that the No. 7 ranked highest because it comes most frequently. The Flushing to Times Square train also has fewer delays caused by mechanical breakdown, more seats available during rush hour and is clean, according to the report.

Other Queens subway lines also received high praise. The E train was only delayed once every 546,744 miles, the best of the 19 trains. It was also among five trains that made “accurate and understandable” announcements, the study concluded. R train riders, at 66 percent, have the highest chance of grabbing a seat during the most congested times of the day.

The Q train was deemed the dirtiest train, with 17 percent of its trains rated “moderately or heavily dirty,” the report said.

Overall, researchers found that city subways broke down more often in the last two years but were cleaner and announcements were more audible.

The 2 train was ranked the worst subway line.

To see more results from the report, visit www.straphangers.org.



Suspect punches, steals phone from 15-year-old on Queens subway

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Cops are looking for a suspect who swiped an iPhone from a teen boy before punching him on a Queens subway train last month.

The robbery took place about 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 27 aboard a southbound No. 7 train at the Flushing-Main Street station, police said.

The suspect approached the 15-year-old, grabbed the cell phone from his hand, punched him in the face and fled, officials said.

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.



Queens woman determined to walk again after losing legs in train accident

| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

The plan is to walk again and then ultimately soar through the city’s skies in a flying trapeze.

Teena Katz, who lost her legs after she was struck by a No. 7 train at Grand Central Station, is recovering quickly from the horrific accident last December.

“Minute by minute, day by day, it’s not easy by any means,” Katz said. “Some days are easier, and some days are harder. I just have to take each obstacle as they come and figure it out.”

The 31-year-old Auburndale financial analyst was on her way home from dinner in Manhattan the night after Christmas, when she felt light-headed on the subway station’s platform.

She dragged herself away from the edge of the platform “just in case,” but the next few moments were a blur.

“I leaned myself up by a staircase, and the next thing I know, I was waking up and I was laying on the tracks,” Katz said. “I didn’t realize that was where I was at first. I don’t have any recollection of being hit by the train or even falling.”

The “no-nonsense individual,” however, won’t be kept down. She has been chronicling her healing process on her blog, teenavsthe7train.com, which she peppers with jokes.

“There’s no happy ending to this story,” said her husband Ben, “but she never dwelled on the ‘how did I get here.’ She pushed those thoughts out of her mind. I think it’s what’s helped her recover as quickly as she has.”

Katz won’t be fitted for prosthetics for another two to four months, but she has high hopes of returning to a normal life.

That means figuring out how to get through once-easy daily activities like sitting on the couch and getting ready for bed.

“Very simple things like that, I have to plan for,” she said. “Everything takes twice as long now.”

It also means learning how to walk on new legs and, in the future, going back to the Trapeze School New York in Manhattan, where she used to fly at least twice a month.

“Hopefully one day, I’ll be able to do stuff like that again,” she said. “I don’t know if I’ll be able to. It’s going to be hard. I might just swing. We’ll see.”

The family, who owns the Maggie Moo’s on Bell Boulevard, is accepting donations to fund the costly recovery process.

Contributions can be hand-delivered to the ice cream shop at 39-33 Bell Blvd. or be sent to Teena Katz at P.O. Box 604312, Bayside, NY 11360.



Op-ed: No. 7 Train closures can’t close Long Island City

| oped@queenscourier.com


Each year the residents of western Queens, and Long Island City in particular, wonder anxiously how many weekends the MTA will shut down the No. 7 train. In past years, the MTA did not even provide advance warning, adding insult to injury. All the prior notice in the world, however, cannot ease the pain of the 22 weekend closures we face in 2014.

Western Queens is home to the fastest-growing, most exciting neighborhoods in the five boroughs, and Long Island City continues to set the pace. People from all over flock here to live and raise their families, visit our wonderful cultural attractions, sample our world-class restaurants and enjoy our beautiful green spaces. Long Island City, and all of western Queens, deserves increased mass transit options, not ones that are being slashed.

Unfortunately, the MTA is stuck in the past, believing its mission does not extend beyond getting people to and from Manhattan during the work week. It is past time for the MTA to realize that neighborhoods like LIC have become destinations in their own right, drawing people from all over the city, particularly on weekends.

As your State Senator, I repeatedly fight the MTA to soften the blow of its seemingly endless train closures. In the past, the MTA has all but ignored the voices of our community, so it was a small step in the right direction when this year, MTA representatives took time to meet with me, my fellow elected officials and community leaders to discuss ways to mitigate the impact of these incessant closures. The MTA has committed to producing a marketing campaign, advertising all LIC has to offer, and I am working with my colleagues to bring the MTA to a public meeting to give LIC residents the opportunity to explain how much closing the No. 7 train hurts their small businesses and quality of life.

Meetings alone, however, are nowhere near enough to help our neighborhood deal with this problem; not when small business owners worry that they will not survive 2014 because the No. 7 train is closed for 22 weekends this year. The MTA must provide direct shuttle bus service from LIC to Manhattan through the Queens Midtown Tunnel, an idea it  has repeatedly ignored. The MTA must also reduce the overall amount of closures. It must provide the increased and more efficient service Long Island City and all the growing neighborhoods of western Queens deserve, and I will continue to hold the MTA’s feet to the fire until it does right by our community.

As we continue to rally together and fight the MTA for better service, be sure to tell everyone you know that Long Island City is still home to some of the most beautiful parks, delicious restaurants and creative cultural institutions in all of New York. No matter the No. 7 train schedule, Long Island City is open for business.

Senator Michael Gianaris was elected to the State Senate in 2010 with more than 81 percent  of the vote after a decade of dedicated public service in the State Assembly.