The LIRR’s mitigation plan during summer repairs

Buses, ferries and more trains will help alleviate expected delays, officials say

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Anticipating harsh commuting delays while infrastructure repairs are made this summer, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority released an extensive alternate transportation plan for Long Island Rail Road commuters on June 12.

The plan, which commences July 10 and will continue until at least Sept. 1, includes:

•Adding more rush-hour trains and lengthening the number of existing trains;
•Creating a bus and ferry network that’s 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. – 5 a.m. to alleviate congestion on roads.

Commuters will be able to connect to subways at Jamaica, Atlantic Terminal and Hunterspoint Avenue for free during the morning rush hours, the MTA said.

Additionally, the MTA plans to move Long Islanders to and from Manhattan during rush hour through the creation of a new bus and ferry network that will be free to monthly and weekly LIRR ticket holders. A network of 200 buses will provide service from Long Island commuter parking lots to Manhattan and will run Monday through Friday from 6-10 a.m., and 3-7 p.m.

All buses will operate on the Long Island Expressway’s HOV lanes, and will enter Manhattan via the MTA’s Queens Midtown Tunnel.

Buses will originate in eight locations including:
•Melville Park & Ride at LIE Exit 49
•Bethpage State Park
•Seaford LIRR Station
•Nassau Coliseum
•Roosevelt Field Mall
•Bar Beach in Port Washington
•Valley Stream LIRR Station
•Belmont Racetrack

Buses will drop off passengers at three locations:
•East 34th Street and Third Avenue,
•West 34th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues
•Grand Central Terminal

In the afternoon, buses will pick up passengers at four locations:
•West 34th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues
•East 34th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues
•East 42nd Street between First and Second Avenues
•Lexington Avenue between East 43rd and 44th Streets

A new ferry service

The MTA will also offer a North Shore ferry service to LIRR ticket holders who show their weekly and monthly passes. A south shore ferry has not yet been announced. Ferries will run from 6-10 a.m. and from 3-7 p.m. from

•Glen Cove to 34th Street. Three runs in the morning and three in the evening with a total capacity of 1,122 customers.
•Hunters Point in Long Island City to 34th St Pier

To reduce highway traffic during peak hours, the MTA will reduce tolls for trucks by 50 percent between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. on all MTA-operated bridges and tunnels: the Henry Hudson Bridge, Whitestone Bridge, Throgs Neck Bridge, RFK Triborough Bridge, Queens Midtown Tunnel, Hugh L. Carey Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge, and Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge.

The Penn Station Task Force, which assisted with the plan, consists of executives from the New York State Department of Transportation, elected officials, nonprofits and private industry executives.

LIRR customers can view alternate time schedules on the MTA website, http://nymta.civicconnect.com/content/lirr-train-schedules, however, the schedules shown are only for the period starting July 10 to July 23.

Senator Todd Kaminsky, who is not part of the Penn Station Task Force, said "While MTA's improvisations may help to ease commuters’ pain this summer, we are far from being out of the woods. This summer's work focuses on one narrow part of Penn Station but does not address the East River tunnels, Penn Station signals, or any of the other track areas that breakdown not infrequently. We must have a sustained commitment to investing in and maintaining the infrastructure at Penn Station."