Fare thee well, 7 train: starting last night, there will be no weekend service between Times Square and Queensboro Plaza for the next five weeks. That's right—from 11:45 p.m. on Friday to 5 a.m. on Monday, October 5-8, October 19-22, October 26-29, November 9-12 and November 16-19, you can look forward to relying on the E, F, N or Q trains to get to Vernon Blvd-Jackson Ave and Queensboro Plaza in Queens, where you can catch a free shuttle bus operating further down the line.
There are a couple consolations, though, as the Q will be extended to and from Astoria-Ditmars Blvd. and the 42nd St S shuttle will run overnight every weekend. The MTA says the shutdown "is necessary to modernize and improve the reliability of the 7 line," giving them time to update high-tech computer equipment on the tracks that may one day bless 7 train platforms with those fancy countdown clocks.
Naturally, this isn't the first time denizens of Queens have been forced to contend with slashed 7 service. In 2010, the MTA cut the 7 from Grand Central to Queensboro Plaza for 11 weekends, which seriously stressed out residents and local business owners. And just this January, there was no 7 service for anothereleven weekends, so we should probably consider ourselves lucky this time around, right?