Service Improvements for LIRR Customers in March
The new schedule in effect Monday, March 4 brings good tidings; the restoration of trains on the Long Beach, Montauk and Port Jefferson Branches. These trains had been discontinued due to budget reductions in 2010. On the West Hempstead Branch, AM peak service will be restored to 2010 patterns at the request of customers. Midday Ronkonkoma Branch customers will be provided with more trains, as will late-night travelers to/from Brooklyn.
Morning Rush Hour Changes
The 6:09 AM peak train from Long Beach to Atlantic Terminal will be restored to the morning rush hour schedule, eliminating a one-hour gap in service. Morning peak service from West Hempstead is being restored to the schedule in effect in 2010, with departures at 5:37 AM, 6:53 AM, 7:16 AM, 7:36 AM and 8:28 AM. In order to restore this popular service pattern, the 8:54 AM train from West Hempstead is being discontinued.
Evening Rush Hour Changes
The 4:30 PM train from Hunterspoint Avenue to Montauk will be restored to daily year-round service.The 5:06 PM peak train from Penn Station to Huntington will operate express to Syosset, bypassing Jamaica and Mineola.The 5:12 PM train from Hunterspoint Avenue to Port Jefferson (arriving 7:00 PM) is being restored to the evening rush hour schedule. The 5:40 PM peak train from Atlantic Terminal to Long Beach is also being restored.
To accommodate the large volume of customers traveling to/from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, late-night Atlantic Terminal service is being restored on weeknights and weekends between the hours of midnight and 2 AM. Eight trains (four eastbound and four westbound) will be added. Ronkonkoma Branch trains are being added weekdays between 9 AM and Noon, providing half hourly service. The added trains will operate between Farmingdale and Penn Station – making stops at Bethpage, Hicksville, Westbury, Carle Place, Mineola, Merillon Avenue, New Hyde Park and Jamaica. On the Montauk Branch, three late-night trains (two eastbound and one westbound) are being restored between Babylon and Patchogue/Speonk. Restoring these trains closes a 2-hour gap in Patchogue/Speonk service. The March 4 timetable also includes some service adjustments, mostly midday weekdays and on weekends for necessary construction and state-of-good-repair track work.
LIRR Ridership Up
LIRR ridership figures show a 0.7% increase for 2012 over 2011. This increase continues a 13-month trend interrupted only by Superstorm Sandy. Total ridership for last year was 81.8 million. Prior to Sandy, total ridership was up 4.3% over the same period in 2011, strongly suggesting that the LIRR would have enjoyed continued ridership growth if not for the storm.Among the bright spots last year was the opening in late September of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where big-drawers like Jay-Z, Barbra Streisand and Justin Bieber, along with the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets, contributed to ridership to/from our Atlantic Terminal rising by 334%.Improved on-time-performance, the return of half-hourly weekday service on the Port Washington Branch, and events like The Barclays golf tournament at Bethpage last August also helped.
New Fares Take Effect
New LIRR fares take effect on Friday, March 1, 2013. On average, most commuter rail tickets will increase between 8.19% and 9.31%, depending on ticket type and distance traveled. Other Changes Include:
- New Military Ticket: All Active Duty military personnel (with an authorized Active Duty ID) will be charged an off-peak fare at all times.
- Family Fare tickets will be accepted on PM peak trains with no step-up fee for children (ages 5-11) traveling with parents/guardians. Step-up fees will continue to be charged for Family Fare Tickets presented on morning peak trains. Family Fare tickets will cost $1 each way per child, whether bought at a station or onboard the train.
- CityTicket fare for one-way weekend travel within NYC will increase 25 cents to $4.00.
- LIRR WebTicket sales will not be available from February 10 through March 2, as we transition to the new fares. Customers are advised to purchase their ticketsat LIRR Ticket Windows or Ticket Machinesduring this time.
- Fares for MTA NYC Transit subways and buses will increase on Sunday, March 3.
Origin & Destination Survey
Over the last few months, the MTA and LIRR have been conducting a system-wide origin and destination study to help learn more about our customers: the way they travel, and how they use the LIRR system. Beginning this month, you may see people on your train distributing surveys and conducting passenger counts on the Port Washington Branch. Please take a few minutes to complete a survey - whether you are a frequent customer or an occasional customer, we want to hear from you. The survey can either be handed back to survey personnel on board the train, mailed back postage-free, or completed online (using the password printed on the survey given to you). To show our appreciation, a random drawing will be held every two months for a chance to win a $250 cash prize! Thanks for your time and cooperation, we appreciate it! In a separate study, the LIRR will be reaching out to Elmhurst residents by mail and in-person to determine ridership demand for a potential Elmhurst Station on the Port Washington Branch.
Happy Birthday Jamaica!
Jamaica Station has played a significant role in the operation of the Long Island Rail Road since trains began rolling on our tracks more than 178 years ago. This year marks an important anniversary for Jamaica Station. A century ago, the tracks through Jamaica were elevated and our current station building was completed. Early on the morning of Sunday, March 9, 1913, the first train left the newly renovated Jamaica Station, bound for Speonk. Current-day LIRR customers changing at Jamaica or passing through may have noticed that our almost 100 year old headquarters building has been undergoing major exterior brick work, a facelift for a proud centenarian.
The LIRR is the easiest, most convenient way to the BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden on Monday, March 4. Purchase tickets for this event using code LIRR, and your round-trip on the Railroad is free. See 2012 Olympic gold medalist and Wimbledon and U.S. Open champ Serena Williams take on tennis’ number one world-ranked Victoria Azarenka in a rematch of their U.S. Open final. The second match will see eleven-time grand slam champion Rafael Nadal make his Garden debut against 2009 U.S. Open champ Juan Martin del Potro. For more information visitthegarden.com/lirr or call Ticketmaster at 866-858-0008.
LIRR Commuter's Council
The Long Island Rail Road Commuter’s Council (LIRRCC) is the official customer advocacy organization for LIRR riders. The LIRRCC is seeking an interested rider to represent Suffolk County on the Council. Riders interested in serving the Council should contact the LIRRCC Office at 212-878-7087 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
January overall on-time-performance was 93.03%.
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