UPDATED 6/20/17 5:00 p.m.: Reduced fares have arrived. The MTA has announced that all passengers traveling on the LIRR to Hunterspoint Avenue and Atlantic Terminal during Amtrak’s 10 weeks of repair work will receive a 25-percent fare reduction on average. A press release continues:
The discounts apply to all passengers traveling to Atlantic Terminal and Hunterspoint Avenue—including those on trains diverted to these stations from Penn Station. All LIRR riders will be given a free transfer during the morning rush to New York City subways at Atlantic Terminal and Hunterspoint Avenue which have direct and easy connections to multiple subway lines. The reductions—which are based on the distance passengers are traveling—will be in effect from July 10 to the completion of Amtrak repair work.
Free transfers during the morning rush will include:
Atlantic Terminal - 2/3/4/5/B/D/N/Q/R
Hunterspoint Avenue - 7
Jamaica - E/J/Z
Discounts on monthly, weekly, and daily tickets will be available starting today. Find the full press release here.
6/20/17 9:45 a.m.: New Yorkers whose commute involves passing through Penn Station have yet to truly know how the so-called “summer of hell”—Amtrak’s forthcoming eight-week-long track repair project, which will result in significantly reduced service—will affect them.
One way that Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed mitigating that pain, at least slightly, is to offer fare discounts that will benefit Long Island Rail Road commuters. Per the New York Daily News, Cuomo has asked the MTA to consider those discounts since many commuters will be taking diverted routes—through Brooklyn’s Atlantic Terminal and Queens’s Jamaica Station—for the duration of the repairs. The idea is that Amtrak would then reimburse the MTA for those discounts.
As Crain’s points out, though, LIRR passengers already receive subsidies on passes that are larger than those received by, say, subway riders. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, while giving Cuomo kudos for the LIRR proposal, also brought up a fair point: Why can’t long-suffering subway riders get those same sorts of discounts?
“By the same measure, I would hope he speaks publicly and advocates for subway riders in this city to also get a discount for having to adjust their commutes amid continued repair work across the five boroughs,” Adams said in a statement.
Meanwhile, travelers who rely heavily on Amtrak are scrambling for solutions during the eight-week span of track work, which begins July 10. Some riders will try their luck at catching one of the two early New Jersey Transit trains that will head to Penn Station during the repairs (after those two, trains will be diverted to Hoboken). Others will try their luck at driving into Manhattan but we all know how that goes, not to mention the price of parking in garages throughout Manhattan.
“The best way to get to work is unknown at this moment,” Jennifer Polishook, a commuter who travels to the city from South Orange, New Jersey, told the New York Times.
- Cuomo asks MTA to reduce LIRR fares during summer track work at Penn Station [NYDN]
- Cuomo calls for 'summer of hell' transit discount [Crain’s]
- Penn Station Commuters Plot Plan B for ‘Summer of Hell’ [New York Times]
- Governor Cuomo unveils ‘aggressive action plan’ to fix Penn Station, subway [Curbed]