Every subway rider has got a complaint. But if you’re on the No. 7 line, now there’s an outlet to vent your frustration online.
Sunnyside resident Melissa Orlando started a Facebook group called 7 Train Blues to collect the day-to-day tales of woe from Flushing line riders. The Facebook group was first reported on DNAinfo.
As of Monday night, more than 460 people had joined the Facebook group with 150 new members coming on board over the weekend, according to Orlando.
Orlando is familiar with the deteriorating service over the harsh winter, the chronic overcrowding and the painful repair work schedules that take the train out of service on large parts of the line.
But she realized the scope of the train’s issues after hearing from riders who were posting pictures and detailing instances of problems they encountered.
“When you see people posting, every day, multiple times a day, about problems with the trains, it’s really startling,” Orlando, 42, said. “It shines a light on just how bad it is.”
She hopes the effort will get the MTA to collaborate with the community and hold town hall meetings with western Queens residents.
“Folks are very dedicated to trying to find ways to improve our 7 line,” she said.
Queens residents and community officials have long griped about delays, signal problems, and cars so packed, riders are sometimes unable to board the first train they see. Then there are the tough service outages from the MTA’s repairs and upgrades.
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer last month held a rally to get the MTA to release data on the line’s delays and malfunctions, and plan out service outages to be more accommodating of residents.
In light of the equipment malfunction Monday, Van Bramer railed on the MTA on Twitter, calling for a city takeover because “7 train riders do not get the reliable service they pay for and incidents are continuing to pile up onto hard working New Yorkers.”
MTA officials have said the weekend outages are necessary to do critical repair work related to superstorm Sandy and installing a new signal system to run more trains.
Spokesman Adam Lisberg said the work involves “short-term pain for long-term gain.”
“The result is going to be a stronger, more robust, more resilient 7 train line,” he said.
But for Orlando, the issue that led her to start the Facebook page and Twitter account was Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to develop the Sunnyside rail yards. She wanted to draw attention to existing problems before more people try to squeeze in.
“You can’t fit any more people on the train as it is,” she said. “If you’re going to put all that housing [in], what are we going to do with all the people?”