Tag Archives: Kevin Ortiz

MTA plans to help promote LIC during No. 7 train suspensions


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of MTA New York City Transit / Leonard Wiggins.

Although the MTA cannot put a stop to the suspensions expected for the No. 7 train, the agency plans on working to help promote Long Island City.

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.

 

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This ride stinks!


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

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The subway in Kew Gardens smells like anything but a bed of roses.

Commuters waiting at the Union Turnpike “E” and “F” train station have complained recently of a revolting stench engulfing the platforms.

“The smell is really bad, like something crawled down here and died,” said Jamie Skipper, a Kew Gardens resident who utilizes the station each day. “It is nauseating down here. It smells like a port-a-potty. You see everyone covering their faces and practically gagging. It’s not a good way to start the morning.”

Other riders were not pleased with the odor considering the hefty prices they are forced to pay to ride the subway.

“I pay $4.50 each day and I come here and it smells horribly,” said Leo Aminov, an 18-year-old Hunter College student. “It smells like something died in here. You have to hold your breath because you can’t take the stink.”

Upon investigating the smell, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) quickly discovered the root of the problem.

In a statement released on Wednesday, September 21, the MTA said the stench was emanating from “a large amount of refuse” that was discovered in an unused utility room in the tunnel. According to MTA spokesperson Kevin Ortiz, two homeless people were found in the room, and it is believed they left the refuse, which was partially composed of rotting food. The two destitute people were removed, and the MTA is still unsure how the utility room was breached.

During a two-night cleanup on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 20 and 21, the MTA power washed and sanitized the room. A new security hasp will also be installed on the door to prevent a repeat occurrence.

Although commuters recognized an improvement, the smell continues to linger at the station.

“I can tell they are trying to cover it up,” Skipper said. “It is certainly not as bad as it was, but it is still here.”