MTA alters 7 train shutdown schedule to accommodate local events
by Chase Collum
Apr 16, 2014 | 542 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Responding to pleas from Long Island City residents and business owners, the MTA announced several changes to its 7 train weekend maintenance schedule.

“MTA New York City Transit has worked in the past few weeks to rearrange the necessary work undertaken on the 7 Line in order to accommodate requests from community members regarding the impact that some weekend service shutdowns would have on community events along the 7 Flushing Line,” read a release from the agency. “Most notably, the planned 7 Line service shutdown scheduled for the weekend of May 17 and 18 has been cancelled and NYC Transit will run normal 7 Line service.”

Richard Mazda, founder of The Secret Theater and director of the LIC Arts Open, which is scheduled for May 14–18 this year, said he was “beyond ecstatic” to hear the news.

At a town hall meeting held in Long Island City on March 27, Mazda was one of many concerned locals to address several members of the MTA board. There, he asked them to at least consider not shutting down 7 train in service for the same weekend in 2015, having given up all hope that service would be restored on the weekend of May 17–18 this year.

In an email distributed the evening of the MTA announcement, Mazda said, “We’re not sure how this came about, but the 7 train is running during this year’s Arts Open! If this came out of the town hall meeting, then thank you President [Carmen] Bianco and the MTA board.”

Along with full 7 train service, Mazda said, Brooklyn Flea will be providing a private shuttle service operating between Vernon Boulevard and 23rd Street, taking patrons directly to participating studios.

State Senator Mike Gianaris, who has been in talks with the MTA about the current round of weekend 7 train maintenance since late last year, issued a statement the morning of the announcement, saying, “Finally the MTA has not only listened to our community on this issue, but taken action.

“LIC Springs! and other events like the LIC Flea and the LIC Arts Open are wonderful displays of how much our neighborhood has to offer, so I appreciate the MTA making it easier to get people here for this one weekend,” Gianaris said.

Other alterations to scheduled service were announced for the weekends of May 3–4, May 31–June 1, Sept. 20–21, and Nov. 15–16.

Also discussed heavily at the March 27th town hall was the community’s desire for shuttle bus service currently operating between Vernon-Jackson and Queensboro Plaza to extend to Grand Central Station. Both Gianaris and Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer urged the MTA to reconsider their refusal to provide shuttle service into Manhattan.

At the time, Bianco promised residents he would deliver existing data to elected officials that shows a shuttle extension into Manhattan is unfeasible, however such data has yet to surface.

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