So if you thought the 7 train sucked because of their often poor service and constant weekend closures, check out what Manhattan lines now have.
Starting today, you’ll now be able to obsessively check your email, Twitter, and Facebook accounts in more subway stations than ever before. The MTA and Transit Wireless announced this morning that wireless voice and data service is now available at 30 new subterranean stations, including Times Square, Lincoln Center, and Columbus Circle. This brings the total number of connected stations to 36, as the first six got WiFi in Chelsea in September 2011.
Want another reason to hate the 7 train? How about the lack of electronic train arrival signs? It seems like the moment you leave Manhattan everyone gets the shaft.
While former MTA chairman Joe Lhota laughed off the idea of extending the 7 train to NJ as an expensive idea that wouldn’t happen in “anybody’s lifetime,” today the NYC Economic Development Corporation issued a study saying that it’s actually a great (if costly) idea that would help alleviate the crowding at Penn Station and “[maximize] the region’s economic growth potential.”
The study, which you can read here (PDF), says, “The extension of the No. 7 Subway, which is complementary to Amtrak’s Gateway Project proposal, would result in the first trans-Hudson tunnel connection that would provide direct rail access from New Jersey, not only to the West Side of Manhattan, but also to the East Side and multiple locations in Queens. It would provide needed capacity across the Hudson River and advance the broader goal of enhancing regional connectivity.”
Mayor Bloomberg said, “It’s been a century since there was a new rail tunnel under the Hudson, and demand for travel between New Jersey and Manhattan is growing rapidly and quickly exceeding the capacity of existing transit infrastructure. The lack of new transit investment is creating a serious and urgent threat to New York City’s economic competitiveness. Extending the 7 train to Secaucus is a promising potential solution—it would leverage existing investments and be compatible with other proposed projects—and is deserving of serious consideration.”
Well, for all you folks who have almost been trampled by a speeding vehicle on 5th street, your prayers have been answered. In the next month (in the coming days!) the DOT will turn 5th St. into a one-way street going south bound between 46th Rd. and 50th Ave.
Even better, there will be speed bumps installed between 48th and 50th!
The MTA isn’t giving a more detailed release plan than that, but they will say that they plan to have all 5,700 of their buses up and running in the system by April of 2014. After Manhattan goes online Brooklyn and Queens should follow in quick measure.
“BusTime has proven extremely popular among bus riders on Staten Island and the Bronx – and I can tell you that because customers have come to me on buses in the Bronx and said we did a really great job on BusTime,” Fernando Ferrer, the MTA’s Acting Chairman said in a statement. “They find it useful and easy to access, and I think that’s a tremendous endorsement of what we have been doing. BusTime is so helpful to our customers that we have scheduled an extremely aggressive timetable to introduce it to three other boroughs.”
It may not feel like it, but Spring is just around the corner. And that means two things, we add an hour to our clocks on Sunday (unless you still own a vintage VCR with a blinking 12:00) and we have just two more weeks before the 7 train starts running again on the weekends (technically it’s 3 weeks as the first weekend it runs is March 30th, but two weeks sounds better)!
Can you believe winter is almost over? Remember when we used to be able to get in and out of LIC on the weekends? Better yet, would you like to bet that there will be more weekend closures in the near future?
What will you be doing on the weekends two weeks from now?
I don’t like to complain about the 7 train too much. Yeah, it sucks that there is no service on weekends until the end of March. And it sucks that they barely warned anyone about these service disruptions until just a few weeks until it came into effect. And yeah, it also sucks that this is all happening during the dead of winter when waiting for the shuttle bus that takes you farther away from Manhattan when the freakin’ Midtown tunnel is right there, is simply the dumbest shit I’ve seen.
But at the end of the day, the 7 train is our main artery. It gives us one-stop access to Grand Central and three stops to Times Square. We all know that we can get to our jobs quicker than most people who live in Manhattan. After all, the 7 is the reason why our waterfront has flourished with an abundance of residential high rises.
This all changed yesterday when I tried taking the 7 into Manhattan during the afternoon rush hour. As I arrived onto the platform it was clear that the 7 was delayed. 15 minutes into the wait an announcement stated that because of “power disruptions” there were no trains between 90th and Main St. No problem, I only needed to take one stop in the opposite direction. Another 15 minutes later another announcement was made that there was no 7 train service, period. Almost everyone let out a grunt at the same time and proceeded to leave the station. A few (like myself) stayed back, wondering if this was just another fake delay.
What really surprised me was that the MTA refused to give anyone a refund. A refund for a ride that they paid for and weren’t able to take. Not cool. At one point people were told to “go walk”. I pulled out my phone to capture some of the (in my opinion) unprofessional MTA workers:
As people arrived to the station, they were being turned away by the MTA employees stating that the 7 train was not running and that they should take another train or bus or whatever. The announcements kept coming about the 7 train still not running. A lady recommended everyone on the platform to not bother waiting because the 7 was probably down for a long time. And just then, an hour into this ordeal, while another announcement was blaring about “no 7 trains”, two 7 trains arrived from each direction!
I boarded the train and got to my destination an hour and a half late.
It made me reflect on the subway systems I’ve taken around the country and the world (including some 3rd world countries!), and I came instantly to the conclusion that the 7 train is indeed the worst train on Earth.
Gothamist reports of a passenger on the East River Ferry that took a picture of the captain while he was docking into Long Island City.
The passenger, who asked to remain anonymous, was alarmed to see the captain talking on the phone yesterday morning while “awkwardly reaching across his body with his left hand to press controls on the right side, which is cool if he was spinning vinyl, but not something I’m looking for at that particular moment.” This culminated in what the passenger describes as ”the single shittiest docking I’ve ever experienced on a ferry bar none.”
We just got word that the 7 train work is cancelled for this weekend which made us wonder if the 7 train would be running instead.
After some agressive twitter prodding we got our answer:
We also got word from Councilman Van Bramer’s office about the 7 train:
“The MTA has made us aware all weekend work has been cancelled. However, please note that, in order to protect trains underground, all trains must be taken out of the Corona Yards and will be stored in the Steinway Tunnel. The 7 line will operate between Main Street and Queensboro Plaza; a train shuttle will operate between Queensboro Plaza and Vernon-Jackson Avenue. This operation will begin around midnight tonight. As soon as the trains can be returned to Corona Yards, normal weekend service will resume.
The 7 line has very limited underground storage space; all other lines have sufficient underground storage space elsewhere in the system (express tracks and underground yards).”