LIRR Resumes Service To North Fork

Earlier today, the MTA Long Island Rail Road announced that it is resuming its service to Greenport & North Fork. Here is more via the official press release:

The Long Island Rail Road’s weekend service to Greenport and Long Island’s North Fork resumes Saturday, April 30 with trains running on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays through November 27. Surrounded by Peconic Bay and Long Island Sound, this part of the East End offers an easy-going, rural feel first noticed from the window of your LIRR double-decker train as it moves through a picturesque landscape that is the heart of Suffolk County’s wine country. There are more than 35 vineyards in this part of Long Island and the train trip takes you so close to the grapes that you actually transverse the Castello de Borghese Vineyard and its rural railroad crossing in the hamlet of Cutchogue.

The Village of Greenport offers a delightful blend of small shops and waterfront restaurants and nearby Shelter Island is just a quick ferry ride away. Aquebogue, Jamesport, Laurel, Mattituck, New Suffolk, Peconic, Southold, East Marion and Orient are among the region’s other popular destinations. And at the tip of the fork are Orient Point County Park and Orient Beach State Park, both with fine beaches.

Traveling Eastbound from Penn Station on Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays:

To get an early start, take the 9:12 a.m. from Penn Station to Ronkonkoma where a LIRR double decker train waits to transport you further east, stopping at Medford, Yaphank, Riverhead, Mattituck, Southold and arriving in Greenport in time for lunch at 12:02 p.m. A second train departs Penn Station at 2:12 p.m. taking the same route with your connecting train arriving in Greenport at 5:02 p.m.

Westbound from Greenport to Penn Station:

Trains leave Greenport at 1:11 p.m. and 6:11 p.m. making all stops to Ronkonkoma where customers can connect to a train continuing west to Jamaica and Penn Station.

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Service Diversions 04-22-16

I have just updated the Service Diversions for the 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!

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MTA Plans Service Increase For 2 & 7 Lines

Riders on the 2 Train & 7 Train will be happy to know that MTA NYC Transit plans on increasing service. Here are the details via the press release I received:

MTA New York City Transit plans to increase scheduled service on two subway lines in fall 2016, with major additions proposed for the entire length of the 2 line reflecting substantial ridership growth during weekends. The increased service on the 2 line includes a total of 31 extra round trips on Saturdays and 18 additional round trips on Sundays.

As ridership continues to soar, it becomes more challenging to provide service while doing the necessary work to keep the system in a state of good repair. Despite those challenges and in response to increased ridership demand, NYC Transit evaluated weekend service patterns to find opportunities for increasing trip frequency while accommodating ongoing capital work and critical maintenance work.

The 2 line, which shares many stops in the Bronx and Brooklyn with the 5 line, stood out during times when maintenance work is required on the 5 line. The 5 line does not operate during weekends in Brooklyn. During maintenance work on the 5 line, the 2 line provides the only subway service for northern Bronx neighborhoods such as Williams Bridge, Baychester and Wakefield. In addition, nearly every station served by the 2 line saw increased ridership in 2015 with the most significant at the E 180 St Station, which saw a 13.6 percent jump.

“We always want to better serve our customers by strengthening service whenever we have sustainable resources to do so, but we also must balance providing that service with the critical maintenance work we need to run trains safely,” said MTA NYC Transit President Veronique “Ronnie” Hakim. Our biggest challenge now is juggling our record ridership demand all week long while maintaining a system that stays open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

The additional 7 service is proposed on weekday evenings, prior to the start of construction-related service diversions, and when car and track capacity constraints do not preclude increased service frequency on the line.

The schedule changes proposed are as follows:

• Saturday 2 service will be increased a total of 31 round trips between approximately 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.

• Sunday 2 service will be increased a total of 18 round trips between approximately 10:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

• Weekday evening 7 service will be increased a total of 2 round trips between approximately 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.

Implementation of the following service additions begin in fall 2016, and depends on crew and schedule changes that will be finalized in the coming months. NYC Transit may also need to reduce service periodically to accommodate ongoing capital and maintenance work. NYC Transit plans to monitor service after changes are implemented and re-evaluate if needed.

The cost of these changes is $2.5 million annually and has been included in the 2016 operating budget. Service on the 2 line also will be increased during peak and evening hours in June 2016 by a total of five additional round trips, as part of a package of service additions approved in fall 2015.

I think this is a fantastic idea by the agency as I have noticed a lot more riders on the 2 during the weekend over the last year or so compared to before & that time still showed a lot of packed trains throughout the day.

While the agency is usually much maligned, they should be given credit for noticing an increased pattern & doing something to help with it.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Service Diversions 04-15-16

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

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MTA Bus Renames 8 Express Routes

Yesterday afternoon, MTA Bus announced that it will be renaming 8 of its express bus routes serving Queens & Manhattan. Here are the complete details via the presser I received:

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Bus Company is renaming eight express bus routes that serve Queens and midtown Manhattan, where they travel along two corridors, 6th Avenue and 3rd Avenue. The change will provide more clearly identifiable route numbering and minimize customer confusion. The new route numbers also allow the route branches to be easily identified at-a-glance by customers waiting at the bus stops as the buses approach.

All eight lines serve 6th Avenue between 34th and 57th streets and provide service to 3rd Avenue during peak hours. In Manhattan, each trip operates either on 3rd or 6th Avenues as noted by scrolling destination signs with text indicating “via 3 Av” or “via 6 Av.”

Currently, these express bus routes use the same route label number for both 3rd Avenue and
6th Avenue trips. This labeling makes it difficult for customers traveling to Midtown to identify the specific branch at a glance. All trips on each route makes the same bus stops in Queens, and then in Manhattan each trip either serve 3rd Avenue or 6th Avenue; therefore, at the bus stops in Queens, customers must carefully watch the scrolling bus destination sign to determine which branch the bus serves. Similarly, it takes an extra effort to differentiate the route branches on the various new customer facing and internal technological applications, such as Bus Time.

The renaming of these express routes will make clear to customers which bus will operate on 3rd or 6th Avenue once it arrives in Manhattan. Buses that travel along 3rd Avenue are renamed with a double-digit route number beginning with “3” or “4.” Buses that travel on 6th Avenue retain their current route numbers.

Service patterns, hours of service, travel paths and stops remain unchanged for all eight express routes. The timeline of implementation and new route labels are listed below:

July 2016:

Current route number – New 3 Av route number:

QM4 – QM44

QM24 – QM34

September 2016:

Current route number – New 3 Av route number:

QM1 – QM31

QM2 – QM32

QM5 – QM35

QM6 – QM36

QM10 – QM40

QM12 – QM42

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