SI Railway Labor Day 2015 Service Plan

Here is the Labor Day 2015 service plan for the Staten Island Railway:

Staten Island Railway (SIR) customers looking to get a head start on their three-day weekend will be able to catch earlier afternoon express train service on Friday, September 4, with Staten Island Railway’s Early Departure Getaway schedule. This schedule means extra SIR trains will be added earlier in the afternoon beginning at 2:30 p.m. from the St. George Ferry Terminal.

There will be one express train and one local train awaiting every boat until 7:50 p.m. SIR will operate on a Sunday Schedule on Labor Day, Monday, September 7. The Early Departure Getaway service plan on SIR is also available on the Friday leading into the President’s Day and Memorial Day weekends, the day before Independence Day, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and the day before the Christmas and New Year’s.

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LIRR Anticipates Normal PM Rush Service

After the horror show that was LIRR service this morning, the agency just announced it anticipates normal PM rush service but with some possible delays. Here is more via the press release I received:

The Long Island Rail Road anticipates operating on a normal schedule for this evening’s rush hour.

LIRR electrical engineers have been working since shortly after 5 a.m. to identify the cause of a loss of power to the LIRR’s signal system east of the East River tunnels that had hampered service this morning to and from Penn Station. The LIRR has made temporary repairs that officials believe will allow the railroad to operate on a normal schedule through the evening rush hour.

However, as a cautionary note, if the temporary repairs do not hold up, train service status could change at a moment’s notice. Delays and possible train cancelations would be announced in real time via public address systems and multiple digital channels described below.

LIRR customers are advised to keep a close eye on the LIRR’s website at, to monitor the news media for the latest updates, to sign up for up-to-the-minute service alerts from the LIRR via email or text message by signing up at, and to monitor the LIRR’s social media accounts, including its Twitter feed, @LIRR.

Customers for whom taking a train out of Atlantic Terminal, Brooklyn, would be a feasible alternative are encouraged to consider taking a train from there as an alternative to Penn Station. The potential for delays to trains from Atlantic Terminal is considered much less likely.

The LIRR will position additional customer service personnel at Penn Station to assist customers with any difficulties that may arise. MTA New York City Transit will position additional station personnel along the 2345 and 7 lines to be ready in the event of an LIRR service disruption. And will have additional track and signal personnel on hand to assist with orderly train service.

This morning, rush hour service had been suspended into and out of Penn Station between about 7:45 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. After service had been restored, residual congestion-related delays continued into the mid-day period.

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New LIRR Timetables Start Sept 8

The MTA Long Island Railroad (LIRR) has announced that new timetables will start on September 8th. Here are more details:

Long Island Rail Road timetables will change on Tuesday, September 8, bringing better service and some temporary schedule adjustments related to track work. The timetables also allow for the railroad to run special trains to or from Atlantic Terminal in downtown Brooklyn for any event across the street at Barclays Center, including all home games of the New York Islanders.

To better help customers travel at more convenient times, the railroad is restoring two weekend trains on the Oyster Bay Branch, and adding a stop to a Port Jefferson Branch train to help facilitate reverse-peak and intra-Island commuters. On other branches, some train departure times will change temporarily because of construction work.

Service Improvements

Oyster Bay Branch:

Starting Tuesday, September 8, the LIRR is restoring two weekend trains to the Oyster Bay Branch that were cut in 2010 because of budget constraints. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, a train will depart Jamaica at 1:46 a.m., making all stops to Oyster Bay. And a weekend train will depart Oyster Bay at 7:19 a.m., making all stops to Jamaica. With the restoration of these trains, the Oyster Bay Branch is now restored to the full number of trains it had prior to 2010.

Port Jefferson Branch:

In response to requests from customers looking for more reverse-peak service, the 8:19 a.m. departure from Jamaica, due to Port Jefferson at 9:53 a.m., will now stop at Mineola at 8:30 a.m., allowing connections from and to trains on the Ronkonkoma and Oyster Bay Branches. To allow for the new station stop, this train will depart Jamaica one minute earlier, at 8:18 a.m.

LIRR Welcomes Islanders Hockey to Brooklyn with More Service:

The timetables that go into effect September 8 allow for the LIRR to operate special service for all Barclays Center events, including all home games of the New York Islanders, which begin October 9.


For weekend games, two extra trains will operate directly to Brooklyn, with no need to transfer/change trains at Jamaica. One extra train will depart from Farmingdale, making all stops to New Hyde Park, then Jamaica, then Atlantic Terminal; the other train will depart from Babylon, making all local stops through Rockville Centre, then Jamaica, then Atlantic Terminal.

The trains will be timed to arrive roughly 30-50 minutes before the puck drops so fans will have plenty of time to get to their seats. For instance, for a 7:00 p.m. game, the Babylon Branch train would depart Babylon at 4:53 p.m. and arrive at Atlantic Terminal at 6:10 p.m. The Farmingdale train would depart at 5:34 p.m., arriving at 6:32 p.m. Westbound train times will be posted on the LIRR’s website as hockey season draws near.


For both weeknight and weekend games, two extra trains – one to Babylon and one to Farmingdale – will depart Atlantic Terminal 20 minutes after the conclusion of each Islanders home game. The train to Babylon will stop at Jamaica, Rockville Centre, and then make all stops to Babylon. The train to Farmingdale will stop at Jamaica, New Hyde Park, then make all stops to Farmingdale.

Temporary Construction-Related Schedule Changes

Port Washington Branch:

To allow for switch replacement near the Mets-Willets Point station, the departure times of weekday midday Port Washington Branch trains have been adjusted between one and three minutes later.

Babylon Branch:

Because of Wantagh Station rehabilitation work and the completion of Massapequa Station rehabilitation work, the departure times for some weekday midday Babylon Branch trains have been adjusted between eight minutes earlier and 13 minutes later.

Because of the changes to train schedules on the Port Washington Branch that affect when those trains will be using tracks between Penn Station and Woodside that are shared with Babylon Branch trains, the departure times of some weekday eastbound mid-day Babylon Branch trains will be adjusted three minutes earlier.

Oyster Bay Branch:

In order to allow customers to continue to make connections at Jamaica with the Babylon Branch trains that have been adjusted for Wantagh Station rehabilitation, the departure times of some weekday midday westbound Oyster Bay Branch trains have been adjusted between six and nine minutes later.

Port Jefferson Branch:

To allow for the replacement of continuous welded rail between Hicksville and Syosset, the departure times of all westbound trains originating in Huntington, and some weekday midday trains in both directions to and from any stations, will be adjusted between one minute earlier and four minutes later.

Because of the changes to train schedules on the Port Washington Branch that affect when those trains will be using tracks between Penn Station and Woodside that are shared with Port Jefferson Branch trains, the departure time of the 2:52 p.m. train from Penn Station, due in Huntington at 3:59 p.m., will be adjusted three minutes earlier, to 2:49 p.m.

Far Rockaway Branch:

To accommodate construction of a new train yard in downtown Brooklyn, the Far Rockaway-bound train that now departs from Atlantic Terminal at 12:14 a.m. seven days a week will be adjusted one minute earlier. As of September 8, the train will depart at 12:13 a.m.

Hempstead Branch:

To accommodate construction of a new train yard in downtown Brooklyn, the 11:21 p.m. departure from Hempstead, due into Atlantic Terminal, Brooklyn, at 12:18 a.m., will arrive at Atlantic Terminal one minute later, at 12:19 a.m.

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34th St-Hudson Yards Station Opens Sept 13

Transit buffs circle September 13th on your calendar as this is the day the 34th Street-Hudson Yards station will open. I will try my best to make it out to the ribbon cutting ceremony depending on my schedule.

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NYC Transit Introduces Bike Racks

MTA NYC Transit is finally joining the biking evolution by introducing bike racks. The initial roll out will occur on two Staten Island bus routes. Here are more details:

Starting on Sunday, September 6, MTA New York City Transit will add bicycle racks on two Staten Island bus routes, the first time that such equipment has been made available for public use on NYC Transit.

The yearlong Bike & Ride pilot will roll out on the S53 and S93 routes, which run between Staten Island and the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. The two lines were chosen for their safe access to current and planned bicycle paths, ridership and routes, which serve a major college campus where bicycling is a popular commuting option.

“Bringing the Bike & Ride program to the S53 and S93 will increase the mobility of students who are traveling between home and campus. Before this program, our customers had no direct way to travel with their bicycles on public transportation between Brooklyn and Staten Island. Now customers can take advantage of the city’s bike lanes and greenways without worrying about how to transport their bicycles,” said Darryl C. Irick, President of MTA Bus and Senior Vice President, NYC Transit Department of Buses. “A future expansion will depend on results of this pilot and will most likely focus on routes that cross bridges.”

“This is an exciting first step in bringing New York in line with many other cities when it comes to putting bike racks on buses,” said NYC DOT Commissioner and MTA Board Member Polly Trottenberg. “These bus routes over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge will provide a key connection for cyclists between Brooklyn and Staten Island. DOT looks forward to working with the MTA to expand Bike and Ride in the future.”

The bike racks have been installed on a dedicated fleet of buses that serve the two routes. During the pilot, NYC Transit will test the use of three types of front-mounted racks, each of which can fit up to two non-collapsible conventional bicycles. The racks have a mechanism that secures the bicycle in place during transit. Customers are responsible for loading and unloading their own bicycles by following instructions that are affixed to the racks.

Over the course of the pilot, NYC Transit will study the feasibility of continuing and/or expanding the program to other boroughs by looking at any impacts on service, safety, fleet maintenance, training, operations, costs and legal issues. A test run in March was conducted with no major issues, though managers noted possible locations with tight turns along the routes and the inability to machine-wash the fronts of buses as potential safety and maintenance issues, which are being addressed.

The racks are free to use and available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Customers who wish to transport their bicycles must wait for a bus with an available rack. There is no age restriction on usage but the customer must be able to load and unload the bicycle safely and securely, and parents or guardians are asked to use caution when allowing minors to use the racks. Any customer who cannot safely operate the bicycle rack may be restricted from using the service.

The S53 route operates seven days a week, 24 hours a day between Park Avenue/Richmond Terrace on Staten Island and the 86 St R station in Brooklyn. Its route overlaps in some places with the S93, which operates limited-stop service weekdays between the College of Staten Island campus and the 86 St R station. Customers who use S53 stops on Lily Pond Avenue may use dedicated bike lanes there, and bike lanes on Clove Road along the route are scheduled to open later this year.

NYC Transit has purchased a total of 38 racks at a cost of $42,000. The S53, the second busiest bus route on Staten Island, serves an average of 10,100 customers on an average weekday. The S93 route has an average weekday ridership of 3,250 customers

I wonder how popular they will become if they ever make it system wide. My initial concern would be the delay in boarding times along routes that already face scheduling issues as it is (especially in Manhattan). We shall see how this experiment goes.

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