MTA Announces LIRR Fare Reduction Plan

With the LIRR Summer Of Hell set to begin soon, the MTA has announced a fare reduction plan. The plan which will feature discounts averaging 25% for those commuting to certain terminals such as Atlantic Terminal & Hunterspoint Avenue. Here are more details via the official press release I received:

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today responded to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s call for a discount for Long Island Rail Road riders as a result of Amtrak’s summer service cuts at Penn Station. The Long Island Rail Road will offer on average, a 25% fare reduction for all passengers traveling to Hunterspoint Avenue and Atlantic Terminal during Amtrak’s repair work. The discounts apply to all passengers traveling to Atlantic Terminal and Hunterspoint Avenue – including those on trains diverted to these stations from Penn Station. All LIRR riders will be given a free transfer during the morning rush to New York City subways at Atlantic Terminal and Hunterspoint Avenue which have direct and easy connections to multiple subway lines. The reductions – which are based on the distance passengers are traveling – will be in effect from July 10th to the completion of Amtrak repair work.

The discount will apply to monthly, weekly and daily tickets. Starting today, Tuesday, June 20, the discounted monthly tickets will be available via ticket windows, ticket vending machines and mail and ride. Discounted tickets will be available via MTA eTix starting on July 1.

“Governor Cuomo has asked us to provide greater value to our customers while Amtrak conducts repairs this summer. In response we’re adding to the mitigation measures we’ve already announced by providing a discount that will give customers who travel to key transportation hubs an average discount of 25%,” said MTA Interim Director Ronnie Hakim. “We believe that this move will mitigate the inconvenience that our customers may experience, and have the added benefit of drawing customers away from Penn Station while Amtrak performs repair work.”

The discount will also be available to customers traveling to Long Island City, Nostrand Avenue and East New York.

The discounted fares are in addition to the previously released transportation plan that restores rush-hour commuter capacity to and from Manhattan, and alleviates anticipated delays and disruptions for LIRR commuters (link:

Free Subways Transfers During Morning Rush

As previously announced, LIRR ticket holders who take trains to Atlantic Terminal, Jamaica, and Hunterspoint Avenue will also be able to transfer to the subway for free during the morning rush hours.

At Atlantic Terminal riders will be able to use the 2, 3, 4, 5, B, D, N, Q & R.

At Hunterspoint Avenue riders will be able to use the 7.

At Jamaica riders will be able to use the E, J & Z.

Customer Outreach

The MTA is alerting customers to the discount through a wide range of platforms, including e-mails alerts; twitter messages; Facebook posts; electronic signs located in outlying stations; electronic message boards located in key terminals, including Penn Station, Jamaica Station and Atlantic Terminal; messaging on the Train Time app. In addition ticket clerks will alert customers to the discount at ticket windows.

Mail and Ride customers will receive an email letting them know that they can return unused mail and ride tickets for a full credit by simply placing the unused tickets in the return envelope, and placing it in Mail and Ride drop box at Penn Station, Atlantic Terminal or Jamaica Station. They can then purchase a discounted ticket to Atlantic Terminal or Hunterspoint Avenue at a ticket window or a ticket vending machine.

I wish the agency posted a list of actual prices as I am very curious to see what these discounts actually are. I also feel they made a big mistake in not providing discounts across the board for all riders as the planned work will be an issue for riders throughout the entire system.

While the MTA is in a tough situation due to Amtrak, they should be doing even more to appease LIRR riders who have routinely been bent over & punished with inadequate service while paying more at the same time!

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Service Diversions 05-19-17

I have just updated the Service Diversions for the upcoming weekend through the end of next week.

Make sure to follow @TransitBlogger on Twitter as I am using it more often. Also if you are into indie music make sure to follow @IndMusicReview & @SurgeFM!

xoxo Transit Blogger

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MTA Seeks Subway Station Proposals

The MTA announced today that it is seeking proposals for work on 4 subway stations in Manhattan. Here is more via the press release I received:

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has issued a Request for Proposals for four reimagined stations in Manhattan: 163 St C Train, Cathedral Parkway (110 St) B Train C Train; 86 St B Train C Train; and 72 St B Train C Train. The stations are part of an ambitious program to undertake extensive renovations at 33 stations on subway lines across the city.

“These four stations are part of an initiative that represents a fundamental transformation for how the MTA does business, and deals with its customers,” MTA Interim Executive Director Ronnie Hakim said.  “Rather than doing a few component repairs, and stretching the work out over nights and weekends, we are taking a new top to bottom approach, renovating stations to bring customers a dramatically enhanced experience, and providing them with the tools they need for a better commute.  This includes countdown clocks, Wi-Fi, USB ports, more intuitive way-finding, and better lighting.  We are also embracing more rapid time frames, using temporary station closures to enable our contractors to get in, get the work done fast, and get out as quickly as possible.”

Station enhancements will include: 

  • Improved signage for easier navigation, including digital, real-time train arrival information at subway entrances, before customers even enter the station;
  • Informational totems at street level and dashboards in the control areas and on platforms;
  • Inclusion of amenities, such as improved cellular connectivity, new art, as well as security cameras;
  • New LED light fixtures throughout the stations;
  • New terracotta tile at entrances;
  • LED handrails at entrances;
  • A new canopy at street level and granite flooring on the mezzanine at the 110 St Station;
  • USB ports and Wi-Fi;
  • New tactile warning strip at platform edges;
  • Glass barrier at fare array;
  • Removal of paint from ceilings at all stations;
  • Renovations will also consider the architectural legacy of each station, and remain sensitive to historical elements as the stations undergo redesign.

State of Good Repair

In addition to the new amenities and features, the top-to-bottom renovation will also involve state of good repair renewals of concrete, steel, waterproofing, paint and repair of existing entrance railings and refurbished stairs.

Get In, Get Done, Get Out

At the start of the projects, minor construction activities will be performed while the stations remain operational. However, in order to fast track the renovations, the stations will be temporarily closed, enabling the contractor to get in, get the work done, and get out in the shortest possible time frame. Contractors are incentivized to keep closures as short as possible. All major construction will be completed during the closures, and a contractor’s ability to limit the duration of closures will be a major factor in awarding contracts. Work at all four stations is slated for completion within 14 months of the date of award.

Other Stations in Initiative

The announcement follows the March 27th commencement of work on the first station in the initiative, 53 St in Brooklyn. Other stations in the program include Prospect Av, and Bay Ridge Av, on the R Train line in Brooklyn; and Broadway, 30 Av, 36 Av, and 39Av stations on Astoria N Train W Train  Line in Queens. The program will include a total of 33 stations on subway lines across the city.

Initial Announcement of Station Design Plan

Governor Cuomo unveiled the ambitious design plan for stations during a July 2016 event at the Transit Museum in Brooklyn, and the MTA issued a Request for Proposals for the first three stations in the program: Prospect Av, 53 St, and Bay Ridge Av. At the completion of the project, the station enhancements will be distributed across the five boroughs. Renderings of the station enhancements are available here.

Design Build Contracts

At the direction of the Governor, the MTA is using design-build contracts for all of the stations. Design-build contracts place construction in the hands of private construction firms with the expertise to assure successful construction that is completed within the shortest possible time frame. The contractor assumes the risk for cost overruns and maintaining time schedules. A single team is responsible for both the design and construction of an entire project in order to ensure that coordination is seamless.

Design Consultants

In developing the standards for the reimagined stations, the MTA worked with distinguished and world-renowned design consultants who possess extensive experience creating transit facilities. The lead designers, Grimshaw Architects, and Arup, both with offices in London and New York – spearheaded the stations’ initiative.

xoxo Transit Blogger


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Harlem Line Track Work This Weekend

Just a short time ago, MTA Metro-North Railroad announced that they will be performing $100,000 worth of track improvement work this weekend on the Harlem line. Here are more details via the official press release I received:

MTA Metro-North Railroad today announced that crews will perform $100,000 in track improvement work on the Upper Harlem Line between Wassaic and Southeast this coming weekend to ensure the on-going reliability and safety of the railroad. Workers will improve the Corbin Road railroad crossing in Pawling, replacing the crossing surface, rails and ties, and elsewhere along the tracks they will cut brush and weld rail joints.

As a result, buses will substitute for trains on the Harlem Line at the seven stations between Southeast and Wassaic after 10 p.m. on Friday, May 19, through Sunday, May 21. Normal train service will resume with the first scheduled train of Monday, May 22. Train service at the 31 stations between Grand Central and Southeast will not be affected.

Service details are below:


Starting with the usual 11:28 p.m. departure from Wassaic on Friday, May 19, and for all departures on Saturday and Sunday, May 20-21, buses will substitute for trains from Wassaic to Southeast, making stops at the following stations: Tenmile River, Dover Plains, Harlem Valley-Wingdale, Pawling and Patterson. Selected buses will also stop at Appalachian Trail. Bus service will operate 15-40 minutes earlier than normally scheduled train times. Customers can view scheduled bus departure times at this link:


Starting with the 8:52 p.m. departure from Grand Central on Friday, May 19, and for all departures on Saturday and Sunday, May 20-21, trains from Grand Central to Southeast will connect with bus service at Southeast. Buses will make each train’s stops at: Patterson, Pawling, Harlem Valley-Wingdale, Dover Plains, Tenmile River and Wassaic. Selected buses will stop at Appalachian Trail. Trains will operate on their regular schedules, but customers using the bus should anticipate later arrival times of between 20-30 minutes. Customers can view scheduled bus arrival times at this link:

Make sure to follow me on Twitter as I will post any changes to these plans if any were to occur. You can follow me by clicking here.

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Queens Bound Service Returns To N Line

Residents at a number of Queens-bound N Train stations will rejoice as of this coming Monday when they reopen for service after a lengthy closure due to a multi-million renovation project. Here is more via the official press release I received:

N Train stations in Brooklyn will reopen for Manhattan-bound service on Monday, May 22, following extensive renovations to platforms, stairways, lighting, canopies and the track infrastructure, which will provide safer station environments and more reliable rides for thousands of customers who use the Sea Beach  Line.

The Manhattan-bound platforms at Fort Hamilton Pkwy, New Utrecht Av, 18 Av, 20 Av, Kings Hwy, Avenue U and 86 St will reopen for service at 5 a.m. on May 22.  The Manhattan-bound platforms at the 8 Av and Bay Pkwy stations, which had temporary platforms installed during the work, will also reopen.

The nine stations, which serve a total of nearly 53,000 weekday customers, will have new accessibility-compliant platforms, brighter lighting, new stairs and new paint. Some platforms will feature new canopies with architectural finishes, new windscreens or new glass fiber-reinforced concrete wall panels.  When the entire $395.7 million renovation is complete, every station will feature new artwork and two stations will be fully ADA accessible.

“These stations and right-of-way opened in the 1910s and have been in heavy daily use for more than a century.  It’s a vital Brooklyn corridor that needs to be brought into a state of good repair with new amenities and technology such as an upgraded communications system. When the work is finished at all nine stations and the tracks that connect them, our customers will see brighter, cleaner and safer stations and experience a smoother, more reliable ride, while our mobility impaired customers will be able to access that part of the Sea Beach line by using new ramps and new elevators,” said Ronnie Hakim, MTA Interim Executive Director.

The station renovations include improved platforms and overpasses, new stairways and handrails, repairs to canopies and columns, new paint, the rehabilitation of the stations’ historic head house entrances and fare control areas, enhanced safety features, new artwork commissioned by MTA Arts & Design and upgraded communications systems.  At 8 Av, two ramps will be added for full accessibility compliance, and four elevators will be installed at New Utrecht Av for access from the street level to the platforms.

Work was scheduled on Manhattan-bound platforms and tracks to minimize disruptions for customers who could use Coney Island-bound platforms for service to those stations. With the renovation’s first phase completed, work will begin on the Coney Island-bound platforms and track infrastructure in July 2017. A specific date will be announced later, with detailed travel alternatives that will be similar to the Manhattan-bound service changes. These service changes will include temporary platforms at the 8 Av and Bay Pkwy stations that were also used during the Manhattan-bound service changes. Customers may also take the  or  lines to Coney Island.

The renovation project was funded through the 2010-2014 MTA Capital Program. Although this project predates Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s mandate to use design-build methods to decrease construction timelines and improve efficiency in all MTA capital projects going forward, MTA New York City Transit worked closely with the project’s two contractors to deliver the work quickly and will continue to do so for the remainder of the project. John P. Picone Inc. is rehabilitating the six stations between 8 Av and Bay Pkwy, and Skanska USA is responsible for the rehabilitation of Kings Hwy, Avenue U and 86 St. The entire 9-station project is expected to take approximately four years, with full completion expected in late 2018.

I will try to get out to the stations in the coming weeks to see how the work came out.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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