Congressman Pete King

Representing the 2nd District of New York

Disruption to LIRR Service July 10-Sept. 1

Jul 7, 2017
In The News

FAQ courtesy of the MTA.

Why is LIRR service changing this summer?

MTA Long Island Rail Road weekday peak service will be modified from July 10 – September 1 because Amtrak, which owns and operates Penn Station, will be taking tracks out of service to make critical repairs.

Nearly 10,000 commuters will be inconvenienced by rush hour service disruptions this summer, including canceled trains, diversions to alternate locations and revised stopping patterns.

We have taken the following steps to assist impacted commuters:

  • LIRR is offering a special fare reduction – an average of 25% off the normal fare – for customers who avoid Penn Station by traveling to key transfer points at Atlantic Terminal, Hunterspoint Avenue and Long Island City.
  • To increase capacity, we are adding and lengthening trains on certain existing routes.
  • Alternative travel options for LIRR ticket holders, including free bus and ferry service and free subway transfers at key locations during the morning rush hour, are available to help impacted customers while also reducing crowded trains during peak hours and customer congestion in Penn Station.


When will the changes take effect and how long will they last?

The repair work is expected to impact weekday peak LIRR trains between Monday, July 10 and Friday, September 1.

The new summer schedule, which accounts for the modified peak service due to this reduction in Penn Station capacity, goes into effect on Monday, July 10.


How can I check whether the service changes impact my daily train?

The new summer schedule and details on branch-specific service changes are available here.

To get up-to-the minute updates on schedule and service changes, sign up for MTA Alerts and text messages at www.mymtaalerts.com, follow @LIRR on Twitter and/or download the LIRR’s Train Time® app.


What alternative options is the LIRR offering to make up for the modified schedule?

To increase capacity, we are adding and lengthening trains on certain existing routes.

We are also offering alternative transportation to LIRR ticket holders including:

  • Free bus service,
  • Free ferry service, and
  • Free morning rush hour subway transfer at key locations.

Additional details on all of these alternative options and route maps are available here.


Will there be a fare reduction due to the modified schedule?

  • We have introduced a special fare reduction—an average of 25% off the normal fare— for customers who avoid Penn Station by traveling to key transfer points at Atlantic Terminal, Hunterspoint and Long Island City.
  • Customers can get a reduced fare by simply buying tickets to/from Atlantic Terminal, Hunterspoint or Long Island City.
  • The reduction will apply to anyone who buys Monthly, Weekly or Daily tickets in advance via MTA eTix, Mail&Ride, and Ticket Machines/Offices. Please be aware that the reduction will not apply to tickets bought onboard the train. Buy before boarding to obtain the best value.
  • Mail & Ride customers can return unused tickets to a ticket window agent or via the envelopes available at stations for a refund and purchase new discounted tickets at stations.
  • Station agents or LIRR representatives at 718-217-LIRR are available to answer additional questions.


Will there be an extra fee to travel to/from Penn Station for passengers with discounted tickets from the fare reduction at key transfer points?

While Penn Station will remain in Fare Zone 1 for the summer, Atlantic Terminal, Hunterspoint Avenue, Long Island City, Nostrand Avenue and East New York stations are being reclassified as Fare Zone 3 for July and August. If you take advantage of the fare reductions offered at eligible stations, the expectation is that you will travel to and from the selected station, beginning July 10. Discounted monthly tickets will be honored at Penn Station between July 1-9.

On or after July 10, if you present an LIRR ticket to/from Fare Zone 3 onboard a train to/from Penn Station (Fare Zone 1), you would be charged an Extension-of-Ride fee, equivalent to the cost of a one-way ticket from Jamaica to Penn Station – peak or off-peak, depending on time of day. The Extension-of-Ride fee costs the following:

  • Peak hours: $11.00* if purchased onboard; $10.25 if purchased before boarding at a ticket machine, staffed ticket window or via the MTA eTix app
  • Off-Peak hours: $8.00* if purchased onboard; $7.50 if purchased before boarding at a ticket machine, staffed ticket window or via the MTA eTix app

Note: tickets purchased onboard are rounded up to the nearest dollar.


Are 10-trip tickets to the key transfer points discounted?

10-trip tickets are only available for travel to/from Zone 1 stations. Beginning July 10, the key transfer points of Atlantic Terminal, Hunterspoint and Long Island City are being reclassified as Zone 3 stations for July and August and will not be eligible for 10-trips. 10-trips to/from Penn Station will not be discounted.


Will I receive a free subway transfer at key transfer points between July 1-9?

Free weekday morning subway transfers for LIRR ticket holders will begin on July 10.


How do I receive a free transfer from the LIRR into the subway?

Customers can connect to subways at the following stations, which will cross-honor LIRR tickets during the weekday morning rush hours:

Atlantic Terminal - 2, 3, 4, 5, B, D, N, Q, R
Jamaica - E, J, D
Hunterspoint Avenue - 7


Are there any free subway transfers available during the PM rush hour?

There will be no free subway transfers in the evening rush hour. With almost 500 subway stations – and therefore almost 500 evening starting points in the New York City subway system, the MTA does not have the resources to staff each one in the evening for potential LIRR riders.


Will these service changes impact off-peak and special event train schedules?

There is only a minor impact to off-peak and special event schedules. A small number of off-peak trains will be adjusted to accommodate additions to peak and ‘shoulder peak’ service. Service to and from special events will continue to run during the work, though some schedules may be adjusted. See special timetables for complete details.


Will these repairs to Penn Station impact MTA Subway service?

No, Amtrak’s repairs will only impact commuter train tracks into Penn Station. Subway service will run as usual.


Why is the current timetable only valid through July 23, when the Amtrak work is continuing through September 1?

The July 10 timetable is only valid until July 23 due to midday trackwork on the Babylon Branch that is currently underway. 

This summer, the LIRR is replacing rail ties on the Babylon Branch during the midday, off-peak hours.  On July 24, that midday state-of-good-repair work shifts to a different portion of the Babylon Branch, and, as a result, midday train times will change.  They will change again in mid-August, when the midday work concludes. 

Since Babylon Branch trains provide connecting service for trains on many other branches, midday connecting times for those branches will change too.  However, peak train schedules will remain unchanged throughout the summer.


I have additional questions on the modified summer schedule. How can I get in touch with the LIRR?

We want to make this transition as smooth as possible for customers and welcome any other questions or concerns you may have. Please feel free to reach out to us through our website or by calling 511 or 718-217-LIRR (718-217-5477); follow the prompts and say “Representative” and a customer service specialist will assist you.

For more information, click here.