Updated July 14, 3:35 p.m.
Stations on the 7 line will receive countdown clocks in December to give riders an accurate picture of how long they’ll have to wait to get on board.
All 22 stations will receive the clocks by the end of the year, though it won’t be in time to help ease the “Summer of Hell” that commuters are expected to experience as major upgrades and changes are made to subways and the Long Island Rail Road.
The 7 train, which recently celebrated its 100th birthday, is so plagued with delays and other issues that it inspired a Facebook page. Queens residents started 7 Train Blues to provide constant updates to each other about the line’s status.
Today, the train was stuck at Grand Central for longer than it should have been because the emergency breaks were activated for an unknown reason. The Steinway tube, where the train was stuck, was originally constructed as a trolley tunnel and employees do not have room to walk in the tunnel, an MTA spokesperson said. Crews had to inspect the bottom of each car to find the engaged brake.
Trains to Penn Station are also being re-routed to stop near the Hunters Point Avenue station in Long Island City and the MTA is urging riders to take the 7 into work, making the line even more congested.
In a meeting with the MTA in Sunnyside last April, Queens residents railed against the agency for poor communication with riders. Plagued by delays, overcrowded platforms and weekend closures, riders said they rely on social media and outside sources to stay updated and make decisions about their daily commutes.
David Frieman, a Sunnyside resident, told the MTA at the time that it has a “blind spot” when it comes to delivering customer service and real-time information to riders.
MTA President Veronique Hakim told riders that features such as Wi-Fi and on-the-go kiosks would help the agency communicate directly with riders.
According to the MTA’s Subway Time app, the D, F, J, Z and A lines will also get countdown clocks in November and December.