NEW YORK (WPIX)—Long Island Railroad commuters, and especially those going to and from Brooklyn, can expect massive service cuts beginning Monday.
LIRR passengers can expect changes to the Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn, Long Beach Branch, Far Rockaway Branch, Montauk Branch, Port Washington Branch, Ronkonkoma Branch, West Hempstead Branch and Main Line-Greenport.
The MTA says the services changes and cutbacks are part of the second phase of budget cuts approved by the MTA Board in March to help close the agency's $900 budget gap. The reductions will save $950,000 in 2010 and about $3.8 million annually beginning 2011. But the agency says it will be monitoring the changes reflected in the new timetable and will make adjustments based on ridership and possible crowding.
Cuts to the Atlantic Terminal include the elimination of overnight service between the terminal and Jamaica. The last eastbound bound trains from the terminal will leave at 11:55 p.m. and the first trains to the station from Jamaica will be at 5:33 a.m. on weekdays and 5:29 a.m. on weekends. As well, service to the terminal will be unavailable from midnight to 5:30 a.m.
Brooklynites will be surprised at the cutbacks because eight months ago on January 5, 2010, the MTA unveiled its $108 million pavilion that serves the LIRR, 10 subway lines and five bus routes. The agency proclaimed it as a major transit hub linking Brooklyn and Manhattan.
The MTA will also hold public hearings regarding a planned fare hike at several locations around the city. For all the locations, visit mta.info.
The MTA says other service cuts include:
Long Beach Branch The 6:09 AM train to Atlantic Terminal has been cancelled. Service is available at 5:35 AM or 6:37 AM.
Far Rockaway Branch The morning peak train departing Valley Stream at 6:30 AM, Rosedale at 6:33 AM, Laurelton at 6:36 AM & Locust Manor at 6:38 AM is canceled.
Montauk Branch Starting Monday, September 13, the 4:30 PM train from Hunterspoint Avenue to Montauk will only operate on Fridays through October. After Friday, October 8, the train will be taken out of the schedule, and brought back in May 2011 as a seasonal, Friday-only train. An Amagansett stop has been added to the 4:06 PM train from Hunterspoint Avenue in order to close a gap in service.
Port Washington Branch Midday weekday service and all weekend service is reduced from every half-hour to every hour. On weekdays there are 14 trains removed from the schedule with stops added to the remaining trains where needed, to provide service to all stations each hour. On weekends 32 trains are removed from the schedule. After carefully examining the expected impact on customer demand and usage associated with the implementation of the hourly service during the midday weekday hours, the LIRR has decided to restore the 4:43 PM peak hour train from Penn Station to Port Washington so that the departures from Penn Station in the 4:15 PM to 5:15 PM hour will be as follows: 4:22 PM to Port Washington; 4:25 PM to Great Neck; 4:43 PM to Port Washington; 4:46 PM to Great Neck; and 5:11 PM to Port Washington.
Ronkonkoma Branch The 4:34 PM train to Ronkonkoma from Atlantic Terminal is canceled. The 4:24 PM Penn Station-Ronkonkoma train will have an added stop at Jamaica and the 4:31 PM Penn Station-Huntington train will have added stops at New Hyde Park, Merillon Avenue, Mineola, Carle Place and Westbury to accommodate affected customers.
Main Line-Greenport Weekend service will only be available from Memorial Day Weekend through Columbus Day Weekend. As a result, weekend service will not be available starting October 16, 2010 until the Memorial Day Weekend.
West Hempstead Branch Weekend service is eliminated starting the weekend of September 18 & 19. Alternate weekend service is available at Valley Stream, or at Babylon or Hempstead Branch stations. The 8:28 AM peak train to Atlantic Terminal has been canceled and other departure times of AM peak trains have been altered to provide more evenly spaced morning service with an AM schedule as follows: 5:37 AM; 6:53 AM; 7:36 AM; 8:07 AM; and 8:54 AM.
For more on the LIRR service changes, visit www.mta.info.