LIRR Service Enhancement Info

Now here is the scheduled service enhancements for the LIRR via its press release:

The MTA Long Island Rail Road announced today investment in a series of service enhancements to be phased in starting November 2012. The enhancements will provide increased service during off-peak periods on the Ronkonkoma Branch, the addition of rush hour trains on the Montauk, Long Beach and Port Jefferson Branches, extension of late-evening train service for Atlantic Terminal, and the addition of evening diesel scoot service on the Montauk Branch. While initial investments are planned for November, most of the added service will be implemented in March 2013.

“Long Islanders and others are increasingly using our service,” said LIRR President Helena E. Williams. “We’ve seen ridership increases for the last 10 months in a row on the LIRR and we are responding to this customer demand by investing in areas where we are seeing growth. We are also planning for anticipated demand in a new market opportunity with the opening of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. These investments in service are good news for our customers, for the Long Island economy and for our entire region.”

Some of the investment will restore service that was curtailed during the severe budget crisis of 2010, when the MTA was forced to cut $93 million worth of operations to keep its budget in balance. Other parts of the plan will enhance service in areas where there is increased rider demand.

Details on the LIRR’s service investments:

Ronkonkoma Branch Off-Peak Service

During key time periods, weekend and weekday off-peak service on the LIRR’s Ronkonkoma Branch will be increased to half-hourly intervals to meet rising customer demand. The added trains will operate between Farmingdale and Penn Station – making stops at Bethpage, Hicksville, Mineola and Jamaica.


Beginning in November, half-hourly service will be added in two three-hour periods on weekends on the Ronkonkoma Branch between Farmingdale and Penn Station. For westbound service the three-hour period is between the hours of 9 AM and 12 Noon; for the eastbound, the three-hour period of half-hourly service is between the hours of 4 PM and 7 PM.

Weekday – Post AM Rush Hour

In March 2013, the LIRR will be adding a three-hour period of half-hourly westbound service from Farmingdale to Penn Station after the morning rush hour between the hours of 9 AM and 12 Noon.

Peak Hour Service Enhancements

Montauk Branch – PM Peak train restored May 2013

The 4:30 PM train from Hunterspoint Avenue to Montauk (arriving 7:35 PM) is being restored to the schedule for daily service during the summer season (mid-May through mid-October) starting May 2013. This train was reduced to seasonal Friday-only service in September 2010. Adding this train back to seasonal daily service provides customers a second opportunity for peak service east of Speonk and closes a seven-hour gap in eastbound service to Montauk.

Port Jefferson Branch – PM Peak train restored March 2013

The 5:11 PM train from Hunterspoint Avenue to Port Jefferson (arriving 7:00 PM) is being restored in March 2013. In May 2010, this train was converted to a scoot service originating from Huntington to Port Jefferson, requiring customers traveling east of Huntington to transfer from an electric train at Huntington. Having this train originate from Hunterspoint Avenue will help reduce standees on the Port Jefferson Branch.

Long Beach Branch – AM Peak train restored March 2013

The 6:09 AM train from Long Beach to Atlantic Terminal (arriving 7:03 AM) is being restored to the Long Beach Branch morning rush hour schedule in March 2013. Restoring this train eliminates a one-hour gap in service on the Long Beach Branch during the morning rush hour that was created when this train was eliminated in September 2010.

Late-night Atlantic Terminal Service:

Beginning March 2013, late-night Atlantic Terminal service is being added between the hours of midnight and 2 AM. With the opening of the new Barclays Center and expanded evening entertainment offerings, demand for late-night LIRR service is expected to increase. Overnight service to Atlantic Terminal was eliminated in September 2010, with no train service operating between midnight and 5 AM on weekdays and between midnight and 6 AM on weekends.

Added Atlantic Terminal Service:


Four eastbound and four westbound trains will be restored, serving Atlantic Terminal between midnight and 2 AM on weeknights.

Eastbound: Two Far Rockaway and two Hempstead branch trains would originate at Atlantic Terminal instead of Jamaica.

Westbound: Two Far Rockaway and two Hempstead branch trains would operate to Atlantic Terminal instead of terminating at Jamaica.


Four eastbound and four westbound trains will be restored, serving Atlantic Terminal between midnight and 2 AM on weekends.

Eastbound: One Far Rockaway, one Long Beach and two Hempstead branch trains would originate at Atlantic Terminal instead of Jamaica.

Westbound: Two Far Rockaway and two Hempstead branch trains would operate to Atlantic Terminal instead of terminating at Jamaica.

Montauk Branch Evening Service:

In March 2013, the LIRR will be restoring three evening diesel scoot trains to operate between Babylon and Patchogue/Speonk. Restoring these trains closes two 2-hour gaps in Patchogue/Speonk service and also restores hourly service until midnight as far east as Patchogue on the Montauk Branch. This service was eliminated in May 2009. The restored trains are:


The 10:36 PM train from Babylon to Patchogue (arriving 11:06 PM)

The 12:36 AM train from Babylon to Speonk (arriving 1:36 AM)


The 11:22 PM train from Patchogue to Babylon (arriving 11:52 PM).

The service investments will be formally presented to the MTA board during its regular monthly meeting next week. They are part of the scheduled July update to the MTA financial plan, which relies on additional efficiencies, three years of net-zero wage increases and a previously scheduled fare and toll increase next year to generate an additional $450 million in annualized revenue.

For the prices we pay, they owe LIRR riders more service. However since this is the LIRR we are talking about, I don’t expect these new “enhancements” to function as well as they could which is a complete shame considering how they overcharge for the garbage they pass off as service.

My biggest gripe would have to be with the additional service on the Ronkonkoma branch. I have for years voiced how badly that line needed extra service considering it has the heaviest ridership in the system. The majority of those riders are coming from stops east of Farmindale so why are they not getting extra service? I think this is a big mistake as it does not address the majority of the line’s riders. However expecting the LIRR to look out for the benefit of its riders was completely foolish on my part.

I do think it is a good call to bring back some late night service to Atlantic Terminal. In my many appearances at Jamaica Station during the overnight period, I see a lot of people wanting to get to Brooklyn & hopping cabs to do so versus taking the extremely long subway ride. The same could be said for additional service to Patchogue & Speonk as that corridor has a good amount of ridership. Addressing the gap was very important.

However besides the Atlantic Terminal & Patchogue/Speonk additions, I don’t feel the agency did enough to help the riders out. Their biggest mistake was definitely on the Ronkonkoma branch where extra service east of Farmingdale would have been huge.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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