2015-01-21 / Political Page

Full Service On 7 Line This Lunar New Year


(L. to r.); Assemblymember Ron Kim, state Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, Councilmember Peter Koo, Executive Director of the Flushing Chinese Business Association Peter Tu, Vice Presidents of the Korean American Association of Queens (KAAQ) James Kim and J.D. Kim announced that the 7 train will be running at full capacity this year for two weekends during the Lunar New Year. (L. to r.); Assemblymember Ron Kim, state Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, Councilmember Peter Koo, Executive Director of the Flushing Chinese Business Association Peter Tu, Vice Presidents of the Korean American Association of Queens (KAAQ) James Kim and J.D. Kim announced that the 7 train will be running at full capacity this year for two weekends during the Lunar New Year. State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky (DFlushing), Assemblymember Ron Kim (DFlushing), Councilmember Peter Koo (DFlushing), Executive Director of the Flushing Chinese Business Association Peter Tu and Vice President of the Korean American Association of Queens J.D. Kim commended the MTA on January 16 for accommodating the Lunar New Year and running the 7 line at full capacity during the weekend holiday.

This is the first year that the 7 line will be running without interruption for the weekend of the Lunar New Year (February 21-22) and the weekend prior (February 14-15). This is in response to a 2012 request from elected officials, local small business owners and community leaders explaining the major disruption 7 line service changes had on area businesses whose customers could not easily travel to Flushing to do their holiday shopping. Last year, construction on the 7 train was suspended only on the day of the parade.

“While I understand the immense scale of overhauling the entire 7 line, I want to applaud the MTA for heeding the concerns of the Asian- American community and planning construction around the Lunar New Year holiday. They’re sending a message that keeping this line open without interruption for this holiday is just as important as transporting fans to a Mets game or the US Open,” said Stavisky. “This is an example of the religious and cultural tolerance New Yorkers are famous for and I am delighted to wish everyone a very happy Lunar New Year free of transit hassles.

“We appreciate the MTA taking into account our concerns and keeping the 7 line open for this very important holiday this year,” said Kim. “Flushing is known worldwide for its Lunar New Year celebrations and brings people far and wide to New York City every year. The 7 train is essential for all those traveling to Flushing, and the Main Street hub is one of the busiest in New York City. I hope that the MTA will continue to keep this tradition throughout the rest of the 7 line construction in the next few years.”

“I am delighted that the MTA is keeping their word and respecting the significance of this holiday in our community,” said Koo. “It is vital to many that the 7 line run at full capacity. Families and friends can come together and celebrate without having to worry how they will get to their destination. And our local small businesses, many who rely on the holiday to boost sales, won’t lose customers due to any service disruptions.”

The construction planned for this year is part of a $550 million capital improvement project to upgrade the signaling system to state-of-the-art Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC) technology, slated to be completed in 2017. The weekend service shutdowns will allow the MTA to replace the more than 50-year-old signal system and upgrade tracks. Upon completion, the 7 line will be the only line aside from the L train to be fully equipped with CBTC.

Riders can expect 7 line service changes on select weekends from January-May and should check www.mta.info for the latest information.

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