Riders of the MTA’s number 7 subway fed up with seemingly constant delays and outages during major construction rallied Wednesday morning during rush hour to voice their concerns.
The rally was organized by Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Queens), who called on the MTA to release data of every train delay, malfunction and service outage over the past year, and hold an emergency town hall meeting with the fed-up riders.
Van Bramer spokesman Jason Banrey said there was a steady flow of commuters who stopped by the rally on their way to work, and the crowd swelled to about 100 people at one point.
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One woman said during the rally that her boss is no longer accepting the 7 train being late as an excuse, and once witnessed 10 trains pass by her stop, Banrey said.
Banrey said riders are not only concerned by weekend outages for capital construction work, which continues through 2017, but weekday delays, overcrowding, and trains skipping stops.
“We understand that this work needs to be one on weekends, but during the week the MTA is obligated to provide adequate service to riders during rush hour,” Banrey said. “I don’t know of any other line except this one that has this many service disruption, delays and trains passing by stops in the City of New York.”
“We will be more than happy to look at the data but what does that accomplish? To confirm what we already know?,” said MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz. “We are already working hard to make the 7 line more reliable by installing a new signal system, replacing thousands of feet of track panels and making Sandy-related repairs – all vital work to improve service on the line.”
“Unfortunately, this work takes time. We understand that these service disruptions are inconvenient to our customers who depend on the 7 line and we appreciate their patience,” Ortiz said.
Ortiz said it was “disingenuous” of Van Bramer to request the MTA to postpone 7 line repairs, then hold a rally to complain about service.
The capital improvement project is replacing old signal systems, which will allow more trains to run, cut down on overcrowding and give riders countdown clocks. Old tracks are being repaired, and the Steinway Tube is being repaired by damage from Hurricane Sandy.