Dec. 17, 2014 By Christian Murray
Get ready for the latest round of No. 7 train weekend service cuts.
The MTA released its schedule for the first five months of 2015 and the No. 7 train will be out of service between Times Square and Queensboro Plaza for nine weekends.
In addition, there will be weekend service cuts between Willets Point and Flushing-Main Street on three other weekends.
The first weekend of the Times Square/Queensboro Plaza cuts is scheduled to take place January 17-19, which will be the first of four weekends in a row that it will be down.
The MTA says that the cuts are in order for it to install a new Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC) signal system; replace elevated tracks; and for the reconstruction and fortification of the Steinway Tubes (which connects Queens to Manhattan).
The MTA, which is a state-run agency, claims that majority of this work has been scheduled over weekends when ridership is lower than normal.
However, Long Island City businesses and cultural groups did not get to weigh in on when those cuts would be and received little notice about the dates.
“The MTA still isn’t engaging the community or responding to the community in a meaningful way,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who has been in talks with the agency. “I am very disappointed.”
Van Bramer said that it was unacceptable that the MTA would close service for several weekends in a row in January and February—during the coldest month of the year.
He said that residents might be a little more forgiving about the closures if they had seen improved No. 7 train service as promised. However, “the truth is that over the past few months No. 7 train regular service has been poor and there have been lots of delays.”
He said that on December 11 the delays were so bad that the overcrowded subway platforms put commuters at risk.