In the wake of Amtrak’s forced summer service cuts at Penn Station, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and the Penn Station Task Force released a comprehensive transportation plan that restores rush-hour commuter capacity to and from Manhattan and alleviates anticipated delays and disruptions for LIRR commuters.
The plan, developed in conjunction with the Penn Station Task Force established by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in May, addresses the near-term summer crisis at Penn Station and will minimize the long-term operating and management failures of Amtrak. It focuses on three key service objectives in the face of Amtrak service cuts: maintaining LIRR’s Penn Station passenger capacity, providing alternative transportation options, and mitigating an anticipated increase in traffic. The action plan will be communicated through an aggressive public awareness campaign to ensure riders have the information they need to plan ahead.
The newly released plan and LIRR summer schedule, which will be in place during Amtrak’s emergency repair work planned from July 10 through at least Sept. 1, lays out a series of robust mitigation measures, including:
- 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’s free to LIRR monthly and weekly ticketholders.
- Free morning subway transfers for all LIRR ticketholders.
- Half-price tolls for trucks on MTA crossings between 10 p.m. to 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 MTA Interim Executive Director Ronnie Hakim. “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.”