Due to Amtrak’s forced summer service cuts for emergency repair and construction work at Penn Station, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and the Penn Station Task Force have announced a transportation plan that will restore rush-hour commuter capacity and alleviate anticipated delays for Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) commuters.
The plan focuses on maintaining LIRR’s Penn Station passenger capacity, providing alternative transportation options and mitigating an anticipated increase in traffic. A public awareness campaign will be held to inform riders on the schedule plans, which will be in place during Amtrak’s repair work planned from July 10 through at least September 1.
The plan includes:
- Maintaining LIRR’s Penn Station passenger capacity during peak hours by adding new rush-hour trains and lengthening the number of existing trains;
- The creation of a new bus and ferry network that is free to LIRR monthly and weekly ticketholders;
- Free morning subway transfers for all LIRR ticketholders; and
- Half-price tolls for trucks on MTA crossings between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. to alleviate congestion on roads.
“As Amtrak conducts much-needed repairs at Penn Station this summer, we have been working hard to find a way to aggressively minimize the impact to LIRR commuters,” said Ronnie Hakim, MTA interim executive director. “We’re providing more rush-hour capacity to and from Manhattan by adding trains to the modified schedule, adding cars to existing trains, and creating a brand new bus and ferry network that adds thousands of seats.”
LIRR was faced with having to cancel or divert up to 15 trains that normally arrive at Penn Station during the morning rush period between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. The railroad is now providing seats for every potentially affected customer by adding three new trains into Penn and adding approximately 36 cars to additional Penn-bound trains.
“The MTA and the Long Island Rail Road in conjunction with the Penn Station task force came together in an extraordinary way to provide a robust mitigation plan to deal with the Penn Station crisis created by Amtrak,” Penn Station Task Force Member Joe Lhota stated. “From day one, it was understood that the plan developed needed to minimize the disruption for commuters. This robust plan meets this goal. It expands capacity and provides numerous alternative ways for long Islanders to commute to New York City. This comprehensive mitigation plan is well-developed and goes a long way in addressing the Amtrak crisis."