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Sunnyside Resident Starts Facebook Group to Chronicle 7 Train Problems

 A photo one member posted to the
A photo one member posted to the "7 Train Blues" Facebook page on March 20 of a packed train and platform at Queensboro Plaza.
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SUNNYSIDE — A new blog and Facebook group is asking commuters to document their rides on the 7 train, from signal problems to packed platforms.

Sunnyside resident Melissa Orlando started "7 Train Blues" as a way to chronicle problems on the line, where she says recent service has been the worst she's seen in the 15 years she's lived in the neighborhood.

"It's gotten to a very bad point," said Orlando, 42, who said she wanted to "have a very concrete way to demonstrate to whoever would pay attention, hopefully the MTA, that something needs to shift."

She started writing about her own experiences on a blog, while a Facebook group for the project that she launched last month has nearly 300 members.

"People have been posting everyday what stops they're at, what problems they're encountering, what time of day it is," Orlando said.

The page is filled with posts about signal problems, delayed service and photos of packed 7 trains or overcrowded platforms.

"2.5 hours to get from 23rd and 8th to Sunnyside. Must be the weekend," one member wrote on March 29.

"Not only are 7 trains running with delays but 40th street station is completely roped off," another wrote on Thursday.

There's been no shortage of criticism of the 7 train this year, including at a rally last month. A series of delays and disruptions have riled riders, who have already been subjected to regular weekend service outages over last few years as the MTA makes repairs on the line.

In February, ice on the third rail shut down the train on the whole line for several hours.

The MTA did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday, but has previously pointed to repair work being done that it says will improve service and reliability on the 7, part of multi-million dollar capital projects on the line.

Orlando said they just want to make sure improvements are made, since future development in western Queens — like Mayor Bill de Blasio's proposed Sunnyside Yards housing plan — will only mean  more riders on the 7 train.

"If you're going to put that many more housing units in our neighborhood, or adjacent to our neighborhood, where is everyone going to go?" Orlando asked. "There literally is no space on the train."