LIC infrastructure not keeping up with growth
by Larry Penner
Jun 13, 2017 | 1363 views | 0 0 comments | 125 125 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Record construction in Long Island City over recent years has not been accompanied by any significant increase in transit capacity to accommodate 10,000 new residents.

The same is true for those who commute from other neighborhoods to jobs in Long Island City.

Riders have had to endure too many years of inconvenience as a result of the MTA's $774 million investment in communication-based train control (CBTC) on the 7 line.

With or without CBTC, there are opportunities to increase capacity and service by running trains more frequently mid-day, evenings, overnight and weekends on the 7 line.

Until the 1980's, there was Manhattan-bound express service until 12:30 p.m. Flushing-bound express service began after 1 p.m. There has been no express service between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. for decades due to routine maintenance projects, including work to support CBTC.

Upon implementation of CBTC by early 2018 (which was supposed to have been completed between October and December 2016), let's hope mid-day express service resumes.

Will it be worth investing millions in CBTC when it may only result in increasing the number of rush hour trains from 30 to 32 in each direction?

Rush hour riders have been challenged for years attempting to board the 7 train at Court Square, Hunters Point Avenue and Vernon Boulevard. The same is true for those attempting to board the E or M trains at Court Square, N or W trains at Queensboro Plaza, and the F train at Queensbridge.

With or without CBTC, there are opportunities to increase capacity and service by running trains more frequently mid-day, evenings, overnight and weekends. There is always equipment used primarily for rush hour peak service that is available to provide additional service during off peak hours.

It is a question of finding millions of dollars more to cover operating costs for additional service.

New ferry services will be able to accommodate only so many riders. In many cases, a majority of new residents will need the subway rather than the ferry to access employment, educational, medical and entertainment opportunities in Manhattan and other boroughs.

Larry Penner worked 31 years for the U.S. Department of Transportation.

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