LONG ISLAND CITY — A new year, a new round of 7 train shutdowns.
Disruptions are in store for parts of the line for at least 12 weekends in 2015, according to an update posted on the MTA's website, which shows planned service changes from January to the end of May.
There will be no trains between Times Square-42nd Street and Queensboro Plaza for four weekends, between Times Square-42nd Street and 74th Street-Broadway for two weekends, between Times Square-42nd Street and Hunters Point Avenue for three weekends and between Mets-Willets Point and Flushing-Main Street for three weekends, according to the schedule.
The news was first reported by the Sunnyside Post.
The MTA says the weekend shutdowns are required for work on three improvement projects — installing a new signal system, replacing tracks and restoring the Steinway Tubes. The ongoing repairs have meant disruptions on the 7 line for the last several years.
The shutdowns have prompted rallies from elected officials and complaints from residents, particularly in Hunters Point in Long Island City, where local leaders previously called for shuttle bus service into Manhattan via the Queens-Midtown Tunnel during the outages.
The MTA began an ad campaign last spring to promote Long Island City as a way to offset the effects of the shutdowns, which local business owners said was hurting their bottom lines.
"The majority of this work is scheduled over weekends when ridership is lower and gives our workers continuous, train-free access to the 7 subways Line," the MTA said on its website. "We are aware of the inconvenience these and other disruptions cause, and we appreciate your patience."
The disruptions will be take place during affected weekends from late Friday to early Monday, or from 2 a.m. Saturday to 5 a.m. Monday for five of the scheduled weekends. A full list can be found here.
Free shuttle buses will run between impacted stations in Queens during the outages, the MTA said.
The story has been updated to correct inaccuracies provided by the MTA; there will be no trains between TImes Square-42nd Street and 74th Street-Broadway for two weekends, not five.