And it would be, except for a little thing called the East River. Thankfully, the 7 Train gets commuters from Long Island City or Hunters Point to the East Side within minutes.
Except when it doesn't run at all. And for the next nine weekends -- that's nine, rhymes with not-so-fine, the 7 won't be running between Grand Central and Queensboro Plaza -- in either direction. Why?
"If we don’t work on the railroad the railroad doesn’t work," said New York City Transit Spokesman Paul Fleuranges, using his best explanation poetry. Transit engineers will be installing new tracks, replacing old signals and repairing a sharp curve on the 7 route, which runs from Times Square all the way out to Flushing. Most of the Queens passengers will be able to transfer to other subways, like the E and F in Jackson Heights or the N and R at Queensboro Plaza.
Those Long Island City customers, however must rely on the two words which have plagued other weekend riders during heavy construction times: shuttle bus.
Spokesman Charles Seaton adds:
"NYC Transit apologizes for the inconvenience to our customers. These service upgrades are essential to operating a safe and efficient service. The 7 line presents a special challenge in that we have a short window of opportunity to perform this work, essentially between late September and April. In this way we avoid interfering with subway service generated by the crowds headed to Mets games, U.S. Tennis Open and other major events in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park."
Speaking of the Mets, their first weekend home series is April 10th and 11th against the Washington Nationals. You can bet the 7 will be running normally by then. Until then, riders of the 7 have no choice but to play ball.