LIRR Opens 3 Renewed Station Buildings

Earlier today, the MTA Long Island Rail Road announced that it will be opening 3 renewed station buildings. The buildings will be located at the Brentwood, Deer Park  & Northport stations. Here are more details via the press release the agency sent me:

Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Long Island Rail Road officials today announced the opening of the first phase of three newly renovated railroad station buildings – at Brentwood, Deer Park, and Northport — bringing modernized touches to improve the customer experience for more than 11,000 daily weekday riders.

These three stations are part of more than 100 projects that are slated to transform the railroad, part of an unprecedented $6.6 billion state investment. View a comprehensive list of these transformative efforts, from LIRR Expansion Project (“Third Track”), to Moynihan Train Hall, and the recently completed Double Track Project, at aModernLI.com.

“The LIRR is working hard to deliver better and more reliable service, but — as demonstrated by these station improvements — we’re also paying attention to every aspect of the customer experience,” said MTA Chief Development Officer Janno Lieber. “These upgrades were built and put in service in less than a year, which illustrates how the MTA is delivering projects  faster and at a lower cost than in the past.”

“Ensuring a great customer experience is at the center of everything we do at the LIRR. Customers deserve to have upgraded facilities when they use our system — and these station renovations are giving them just that,” LIRR President Phillip Eng said. “We’re excited to continue our modernization efforts to truly make the LIRR the 21st century system it can be.”

Artwork was commissioned that references each community and enhances the architecture and beauty of these stations at Brentwood and Deer Park. Details on the artists and their respective works of art can be found below.

Brentwood and Deer Park Stations

Brentwood and Deer Park station houses, both located along the Ronkonkoma Branch, were fully renovated and upgraded with a host of customer-facing improvements. Platform improvement construction continues at both stations. Brentwood serves about 2,900 daily weekday customers, while Deer Park serves approximately 6,200 daily weekday customers.

Finished upgrades include:

  • Improved ADA accessibility: a new ADA-compliant bathroom at each location.
  • New architectural finishes: New terrazzo flooring, bronze storefronts, wood ceilings and exterior brick decorative walls, a new information wall, signage and stamped concrete sidewalks.
  • Customer-focused amenities: new benches, USB charging stations, technology counters, digital information screens, and bicycle racks.
  • Energy efficiency: new LED lighting.

Further upgrades to come:

  • Improved ADA Accessibility: ADA-compliant ramps to be complete by end of year.
  • Staying connected: Free public Wi-Fi; USB charging stations can also be found throughout the station and along the platforms by end of this year.
  • Getting information: Digital information display totems, as well as new speakers for more clearly audible announcements by end of this year.
  • Safety: New CCTV Cameras, railings, benches, and refreshed pedestrian overpasses by end of this year.
  • Customer comfort: Customers at these stations will be able to take shelter from inclement weather under new structures built on the platforms by Q2 2019, as well as new trash receptacles.

Northport Station

LIRR’s Northport Station, on the Port Jefferson Branch, was built in 1927 and currently serves approximately 2,335 customers each weekday. The station building’s renovation incorporated historical restoration, to preserve the station’s history while providing modernized features and upgrades.

Finished upgrades include:

  • Improved ADA accessibility: Renovated current ADA-compliant bathroom, added a second ADA-compilant bathroom.
  • Complete renovation of the station building’s interior and exterior.
  • Customer-focused amenities: New benches, improved wayfinding signage, Wi-Fi, and LCD display screens.
  • Paver rehabilitation and sidewalk replacement.

Further upgrades to come:

  • MTA Arts & Design permanent artwork.
  • Better information: Electronic information display totem.

Art installation details:

At Brentwood:

ARMANDO MARIÑO

The Guardian Angel, 2018

Laminated glass

Fabricated by Tom Patti Studio

Armando Mariño’s artwork The Guardian Angel is inspired by the historic development of Brentwood and its present as a community. Featuring richly colored flowers from the country of origin of many of Brentwood’s residents, such as Mexican Dahlias, Peruvian qantu, and Salvadorean Flor de Izote, as well as native flowers of Long Island. A guardian owl representing Brentwood’s idyllic past protects the garden.  Mariño feels the art serves as a metaphor for cultures living harmoniously, and he used bright, alluring colors and brushwork as an invitation to “discover the beauty of life that needs to be preserved… [flowers] always come back after a hard winter like a reminder that there is always hope for a better future.”

At Deer Park:

WILLIAM LOW

Deer Park Dahlias, 2018

Laminated glass

Fabricated by Tom Patti Studio

William Low is a painter and illustrator based in Huntington, Long Island. His scene of vibrantly colored dahlias in a pastoral field for Deer Park station creates a contemplative space in the station waiting room. The large scale flowers shift the viewer’s perspective, providing an experience of childlike wonder at the natural world.

The artwork is derived from the local area’s botanic legacy: Central Park was first landscaped with ornamental trees and shrubs that had been grown in Deer Park, and the town was well known for annual dahlia festivals. The area is still a floral site, with several wholesale nurseries near to the station. Deer Park Dahlias acknowledges this specific, but not widely known, aspect of the community.

Low’s signature style uses classic painting techniques to depict city and nature scenes with shimmering sunlight and evocative color. Drawing from real life observations, his work conveys personal experience as shared memory. He has won numerous awards including four Silver medals from the Society of Illustrators, and has illustrated several beloved children’s books. He is currently the principal in Cobalt Illustration Studios, and is a professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT).

xoxo Transit Blogger

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MTA To Buy Grand Central Terminal

The other big news to come out of the MTA meetings on Tuesday was the agency announcing that it plans on purchasing Grand Central Terminal along with the Metro North’s Harlem & Hudson lines.  The total cost for these purchases is $35M & was approved by the financial committee & will be put to the full board on Thursday for what is expected to be an immediate approval.

The agency had currently been paying $2M a year to rent the terminal & its tracks. However they felt with the interest rates at low levels, it would be a good time to just purchase it as compared to renting it through the end of its lease in 2074.

Also taking ownership of the Harlem line to Dover Plans & the Hudson line to Poughkeepsie will help give it better control in maintaining the infrastructure along with being able to get some profits from residential & commercial properties built near the tracks.

In my opinion, the deals make complete sense & should benefit the agency in the short & long term which makes it a complete win-win, a rare thing for the much maligned agency.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Subway Delays Down By 10,000

At Tuesday’s monthly MTA transit committee meeting, NYC Transit was able to report that subway delays were down by 10,000 for the second month in a row. My good friend Greg Mocker of Pix11 has more:

There was some good news Tuesday at the monthly transit committee at MTA Headquarters.

Sally Librera, who heads the Department of Subways, says the transit agency met the goal to reduce delays by 10,000 for the second month in a row.

Officials credit the Subway Action Plan and targeting specific maintenance and improvement areas.

Riders say the system remains busy.

MTA NYC Transit President Andy Byford acknowledges there is more work to do.

“Every month we do move the ball down the field,” Byford said.

They make a detailed presentation at the regular committee meeting each month based on arrival statistics and reports.

The October 2018 weekday On-Time Performance is listed at of 70.3 percent and that is the the highest since August 2015.

Click here for the complete report.

While the NYC Subway has a ton of issues it still needs to address on a daily & long term basis, it would be wrong to not give kudos for showing improvement. Hopefully the agency can knock down the delays even further as we head into the holidays as a painless commute can be the best gift of all!

xoxo Transit Blogger

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7 Train Signal Project Nearing Completion

7 Train line riders are all too familiar with the service diversions that have plagued the line for nearly a decade due to a long term signal upgrade. Thankfully I can report that the project is nearing completion as the MTA announced it will be done by the end of this month.

The upgrade will let the agency run 14 additional round trips every day to help ease the chaotic rush hour that currently exists. Jose Martinez of NY1 has more:

For nearly a decade, riders on the 7 line have endured frequent weekend service interruptions in Manhattan and Queens so the MTA could upgrade its signal system. That’s about to change.

The MTA now says the signal work will be completed by the end of November. That will allow 14 additional round trips every day, easing overcrowding during rush hours.

Officials said the additional service will come online in April, just in time to handle a surge of riders when the MTA shuts down the L line between Manhattan and Brooklyn for 15 months of tunnel repairs.

Another influx will come when Amazon locates 25,000 jobs in Long Island City, at a site two blocks from Court Square, which is served by the 7, E, G and M lines.

Announcing the Amazon deal Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio acknowledged even more transportation upgrades will be needed in the community.

“We have to look at every conceivable way to improve and increase the amount of mass transit available to people in Long Island City,” de Blasio said.

The mayor also said that options include adding a Long Island Rail Road stop in Long Island City, and shuttle bus service to and from the NYC ferries that stop there.

Click here for the complete report.

This project being completed is huge as the constant service diversions on the line made it severely hard to get around whether it was the weekday or weekends. Considering the huge ridership this line gets 7 days a week at all times of the night, anything that will help make the commute better is a good thing.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Woman Beaten & Stabbed On Subway

Last Friday, 57 year old Ann Marie Washington was riding the Q train home after a long day at work. She departed the train at the Church Ave station & started to walk up the stairs when an unknown male came up from behind & attacked her while shouting racial slurs.

He punched her multiple times which led to bruises & a cut on her lip. She ended up being stabbed as well which she did not realize until she woke up in her home the next day in a pool of blood. She ended up having to be taken to a hospital & rushed into surgery as it turns out she had a collapsed lung from the attack. Thankfully the surgery was a success.

The incident which is now being investigated as a hate crime has riders in the area worried. Kezia Bernard-Nau, a witness to the attack wonders why the NYPD has not released surveillance footage from the station to help in the capture of the white male. I hope that this footage gets released soon as the longer it takes to do so, the more likely this scumbag gets away with this heinous crime.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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