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Byford Discusses 7-Train Improvements at MTA Town Hall Meeting, Addresses Falling Debris

MTA President Andy Byford | Flickr

June 11, 2019 By Shane O’Brien

The MTA held a town hall meeting in Long Island City last night and its leader Andy Byford told the audience that the agency will be installing a new system designed to catch falling debris.

Byford, speaking at an MTA Fast Forward event at LaGuardia Community College, said that the system will go up on a trial basis in four locations across the City and may involve protective netting. He did not say where the locations would be, just saying one would be under the elevated 7 train.

If they system—which is expected to implemented over the summer– proves successful it will be added to other locations.

At the meeting, Byford was confronted by attendees upset about the falling debris that has struck cars underneath the 7 line near the 61st Street station this year.

He unequivocally apologized for the incidents and said there was no way to ‘sugar coat’ it.

He said that putting up a new system is not straight forward, since it is important that workers can inspect the line on an ongoing basis.

On Feb. 21 a wooden beam fell from the elevated 7 line near 65th Street and pierced the windshield of a vehicle (Twitter: Van Bramer)

“What we don’t want to do is put up a system that actually potentially makes it less safe than it already is,” Byford said. “Because any system must still give the inspection crews the ability to see what is going on beneath the elevated track, but also must be robust enough to catch anything that does fall off.

“We have been extraditing the process to get companies to design prototypes… As soon as that is done, we will get started in four separate locations, one of which will be on the 7 line,” he concluded.

Byford also said that 7 train service has improved since the completion of a modern signaling system last year.

The Flushing line was upgraded to the Communications Based Train Control (CBTC) system and Byford was keen to emphasize the difference in performance.

“On the 7 line, we’ve already increased the number of trains. We were running at 25 trains per hour, we’re now running at 29 trains per hour. I think we could potentially squeeze a bit more out of the system.”

Sally Librera, a senior vice president at MTA NYC Transit, said that the agency has seen wholesale improvements since Byford took the reins in January 2018 and the system can handle more riders.

“We’ve raised on-time performance by 20 percent,” Librera said, referring to the entire system. “That enhances capacity. The more reliable the system is and the more regularly it operates, we get capacity gains in many different ways.”

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Jason Chen

The only time there is no 7 train construction going on and all work stops is during the US open. There is too much money at stake every year to disrupt all those rich whiteys that come in from long island and manhattan to watch venus williams play tennis. The rest of the year the MTA union has contracts rolling in to keep constant maintenance going on. It will never end.

Sara Ross

I lived in Bayside in the 1970’s and the 7 train has stunk since then. It took less time to build the entire subway system than it’s taking to fix it! I still want to know what is ACTUALLY done on the weekends when most trains don’t stop at the starting point stations of people and they have to go back a stop to get a train or wait 1/2 hour or more to go back to their starting station? Because then Monday morning, it’s the same garbage – track maintenance, signal/switch problem, and on and on.


We like to enjoy a good Aperol Spritz while we discuss the 1970’s and how the 7 train has stunk

Timothy Browne

What a complete joke. Service on the 7 is a constant, unmitigated disaster, down all weekend and barely running during the week. Andy Byford, and everyone in the MTA, needs to lose their jobs. They’re incredibly bad at what they do for a living, and should feel ashamed at how poorly they perform every day.


TIMOTHY BROWNE -You are right in everything you said here on LIC post. Why would anyone give yo dislikes?It must be the Real Estate people and Developers that troll this site and sponsor it. If the truth be told they would lose prospective buyers. These people “Can’T Handle The Truth?” For Obvious Reasons !!!!!!!!!!!!


Like it and the old one MTA= MONEY THROWN AWAY. Byford is delusional if he thinks 7 line service has improved.


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