Announced on May 15, 2017, some relief for transit riders citywide seems to be in the works. The MTA announced a multifaceted plan to tackle service delays and interruptions.
The improvement plan targets key causes of delays, including track and signal issues, sick passengers and police activity, passenger loading and unloading, and system bottlenecks where lines merge. The MTA plans to deploy more EMTs, rapid response teams, and introduce new forms of rail inspection and track cleaning as a preventative measure for incidents like track fires. New technologies and programmatic changes based on best practices from around the world. Read more details on the MTA website.
The agency's leadership is also undergoing restructuring as a means to advance legislation; the Chairman and CEO positions will be split into two roles.
While there was no mention of the 7 Train in plan, it will no doubt have a positive affect system wide that of course includes the 7 and Queens at large. The first phase, which will roll out over the next six months, will begin immediately on the 8th Avenue corridor from 125th Street to Fulton Street—a total of 19 stations on the A/C/E lines. Two key hubs in the South Bronx at 149th Street-Grand Concourse and 3rd Avenue-138th Street are part of the plan.
"We welcome the MTA's 6-point plan to address issues that have long plagued customers across the city. It just goes to show how crucial it is that our state legislators in Albany adequately and consistently fund the MTA, as New York City makes up for over 40% of the state's population," said Access Queens Executive Director Melissa Orlando. "The key components of the plan are important to address the rider's experience and we look forward to the positive impact that it will have on New York City residents."
The 7 Train is not quite left out in the dark. Many improvements long overdue for Queens were discussed at last year's #AskTheMTA town hall where riders raised issues and solutions directly to MTA executives. This plan complements the significant upgrades that are included in the MTA's record $29.5 billion Capital Plan. The Flushing Line is undergoing system upgrades and the installation of CBTC, which will slightly improve service and a few stations are undergoing renewal slated to begin over the next couple of years. That includes 52 St, rated New York City's worst subway station in the entire subway system.
There's quite a bit of work and struggles ahead of us. The L train will be shut down in the near future (read our shutdown proposal to the MTA) for repairs and maintenance as will the N train during a handful of weekends this year. More on the latter real soon.