Summer of Hell making No. 7 subway even worse

- Forget the Summer of Hell; for riders of the No. 7 subway line, it is all four seasons of hell. Another day, another delay on the 7.

Ever since track repair work began at Penn Station, the 7 line has been absorbing some LIRR commuter runoff.

"We've had a lifetime of hell here in the 7 train," said Jeremy Rosenberg with Access Queens, a transit advocacy group for Queens riders. "We have people coming from other parts of the region now to Long Island City and other parts of Queens. And they're getting on the 7 train. And the train is crowded as it is, in fact, it's dangerously crowded."

The additional crowding will last until September when the repair work at Penn Station is expected to be completed.

The MTA has added one extra 7 train to help ease congestion but Rosenberg said that is not enough.

"People report that they're not able to get on the train until the train has come four or five times at the station," he said. "People are late for work, they're late for school. They're missing appointments. They're missing job interviews."

Countdown clocks are coming to the 7 train but riders say what they also really need is better communication from the MTA.

"About two days ago my wife was stuck on the train for about 90 minutes trying to get to work," commuter Monica Durbin said. When she lived in Sunnyside, she had a difficult time getting on or off the train.

"It would be a local train on the local stop and it would refuse to stop every morning so you'd have three or four trains pass you and no one would be able to get on," she said.

With the population of Queens continuing to grow, many riders say all they can do now is hope service doesn't get worse.

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