Morning Rush Hour Trains Added to No. 7 Line Seven Bus Lines Waiting Time Reduced

ith little fanfare, the Transit Authority added two additional trains to the No. 7 Line’s morning rush hour run, last Monday. Surprised passengers using the normally crowded line not only got to work faster, but some even got a seat in the process.
An estimated 41,000 commuters, fed by 23 city and private bus lines use downtown Flushing’s narrow-platformed Main St. subway station during weekdays.
The extra trains will run weekdays between 6 and 8 a.m. and carry a minimal per-train capacity of 1,800 passengers, between Main St.,Flushing, and Times Square, according to Termaine Garden,Transit Authority spokesman. Since the trains make a complete round trip, morning Manhattan-to-Queens commuters will also benefit.
Joseph Rappoport, coordinator of the Straphangers Campaign, a transit advocacy organization, hailed the expanded train schedule. He said that Queens’ bus and train ridership has steadily increased since last July, due to the elimination of the two-fare zones. Passenger volume, he predicted, would increase again this Summer, when the MTAintroduces its monthly and weekly passes.
As part of the $15 million program, the TAhas also put other traveler-friendly changes into operation:
• The waiting time for noontime trains on the 7, E and F train lines (to and from Manhattan) were slashed by 20 percent (from a 71/2 to a 6-minute wait).
• The MTA has already reduced waiting time for buses on seven Queens bus lines: the Q4 Linden Blvd., Q5 Merrick Blvd., Q12 Sanford/Northern Blvd., Q16 Bayside/Willets Pt., Q28 Northern Blvd., Q46 Union Tpke., and Q74 Vleigh Pl./QueensCollege lines.
The additional train and bus service is being funded by a $15 million allocation obtained by Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan (of Ridgewood), a member of the special legislative board that oversees the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s capital program.
Nolan said, "Queens lines have been overcrowded and have been getting worse as Queens has seen a great increase in transit ridership, especially on the No. 7 line. The additional service should allow No. 7 line riders a little breathing room. People should not be packed in like sardines."
Based on the language of the state budget, the Assemblywoman said that the MTA, last September, put together a plan to increase subway and bus service on lines that were overcrowded, and where service was reduced in 1995, due to "fiscal constraints."

More from Around New York