Updated 02/19/2013 11:23 PM
Signal Problems Cause Early Evening Service Disruptions For 7 Train Riders
A signal failure on the 7 train tracks at the 90th Street-Elmhurst Avenue stop disrupted 7 train service Tuesday evening and caused massive crowds that the New York City Police Department were called in to control. NY1's Michael Herzenberg filed the following report.
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The MTA restored 7 train service before 9 p.m. Tuesday evening, but for a while, the Roosevelt Avenue station was the end of the line.
The MTA had to call in an assist from the NYPD Tuesday night, where officers pushed, pointed and pleaded to control frustrated crowds of commuters.
"You've got people over here pushing old people, babies. People on the train tracks fighting," said one commuter. "This is ridiculous."
Thousands of 7 train passengers spilled out of the Roosevelt Avenue station after the MTA stopped service the rest of the way to Flushing-Main Street.
"We have no idea," said one commuter. "Nobody is telling us what is happening. Typical New York."
The MTA says interruption of electricity around 5:30 p.m. caused signal problems at 90th Street-Elmhurst Avenue, which sent service disruptions all the way to Times Square.
People coming home to Queens suffered in far greater numbers. Thousands of commuters sandwiched between each other, waiting to board shuttle buses, controlled and, some said, herded like cattle.
"The police are treating us like we're in freakin' prison," said one commuter. "We didn't do anything wrong."
Others said the crowd, pushing, acted like cattle.
"Look at the NYPD. They might get hurt," said one commuter. "I'm not trying to get on this stampede."
But when the dust settled, many blamed the MTA.
"They got me here waiting on this train for hours," said one commuter. "This is ridiculous."
"Always the 7," said another. "It never changes."
Passengers dealt with 7 train service disruptions this past weekend that the MTA says were part of a project that will take years to complete, but will result in more reliable and more frequent service.