Service Changes Based on Ridership Data and Customer Feedback
New Schedules Add Direct Brooklyn Trains on Hempstead, Port Jefferson, Long Beach and Far Rockaway Branches
Grand Central Madison Ridership Increased by 43% Since Start of Full Service
MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) today detailed schedule changes that will take effect Tuesday, Sept. 5, that will increase service to Penn Station and add more direct service to Atlantic Terminal, Brooklyn. The series of changes reflect recent ridership patterns following the railroad’s most recent rewrite of schedules supporting a historic service increase of 41% on Feb. 27, with the opening of full service to Grand Central Madison. The timetables also made small schedule adjustments necessary to support upcoming maintenance trackwork.
“We have made many adjustments to our schedules since GCM service was launched in February to best accommodate ridership patterns we were seeing as quickly as possible,” said MTA LIRR Interim President and Metro-North Railroad President Catherine Rinaldi. “Our September schedule is based on ridership data, real-time observations, and input from customers, building upon the earlier schedule adjustments and responding to many of the concerns that we have been hearing consistently from our customers. The opening of Grand Central Madison was a historic milestone for the LIRR, and we will keep monitoring the data to identify future improvements where possible.”
Since new LIRR service began almost five months ago, Grand Central Madison has opened new travel options and improvements for tens of thousands of daily LIRR riders, including the ability to travel across both railroads through the convenience of one ticket – the combo ticket. As of June 30, 14,000 combo tickets have been sold since launch of the new service, and more than 2.6 million customers have used Grand Central Madison through May 2023. Ridership at Grand Central Madison has increased by 43% since the full opening.
Focused on balancing service, while meeting travel patterns and customer feedback, the LIRR redirected some trains to/from Grand Central Madison to operate to/from Penn Station, and some late-evening trains to originate from Penn, offering additional service to customers attending concerts and sporting events.
The new schedules create more morning express service on the Huntington and Ronkonkoma branches. All but four morning peak Ronkonkoma trains operate express to Jamaica from either Hicksville or Bethpage and two trains from Huntington operate express from Syosset or Hicksville; two new morning peak trains originating from Hicksville and Westbury have been added to provide local service. Additionally, there is more express service between Jamaica and Penn Station during the AM peak overall.
In the morning rush, through trains to Brooklyn have been added on the Far Rockaway, Long Beach, Hempstead, and Huntington branches, and stops at Locust Manor, Laurelton, Rosedale, Hollis, and Queens Village stations have been reassigned accordingly to more Brooklyn trains as data indicates that more riders from these stations are traveling to Brooklyn.
“Southeast Queens and Rockaway families deserve quick and easy access to the rest of our city, especially during the morning rush — something that a lack of area subway service has historically prevented,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. “Increasing morning service on the Long Island Rail Road will not only speed up commutes, it will improve infra-city connectivity for families in transit deserts and create new economic opportunities up and down the rail lines. Thank you to the MTA for its partnership in doing just that.”
"Communities in transit deserts like Southeast Queens rely on LIRR service - not only into Manhattan, but to Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn as well," said NYC Council Majority Whip Selvena N. Brooks-Powers, Chair of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. "We worked with the MTA to elevate community feedback after the opening of Grand Central Madison, and I am thankful that the MTA is hearing from riders and adjusting its schedule accordingly. I look forward to continuing to work with the MTA to ensure we receive the quality and frequency of service our neighborhoods need and deserve."
Major changes to service are outlined below. All riders should check the TrainTime app for additional minor changes to departure and/or transfer times.
Port Washington Branch
- During the p.m. peak, the 6:11 p.m. train from Grand Central Madison has been extended to Port Washington and will make all stops. The 6:08 p.m. train from Grand Central Madison to Port Washington will no longer operate.
- On weeknights, trains that had departed Grand Central Madison at 10:43 p.m. and 11:43 p.m. will instead originate at Penn Station. This will provide half-hourly service from Penn to Port Washington from approximately 10:15 p.m. and 11:45p.m.
- In the morning peak, the 5:42 a.m. train from Ronkonkoma to Penn Station will no longer operate. Alternate trains to Penn Station are available four minutes earlier or 11 minutes later.
- A new weekday train will leave Penn Station at 2:55 p.m., stopping at Jamaica, Mineola, Hicksville, and all stops to Ronkonkoma except Pinelawn.
- Three trains that currently depart from Grand Central at 4:09 p.m., 4:22 p.m. and 10:05 p.m. will instead originate at Penn Station:
- The 4:09 p.m. train to Ronkonkoma will depart at 4:10 p.m. from Penn Station.
- The 4:22 p.m. train to Farmingdale will depart at 4:21 p.m. from Penn Station.
- The 10:05 p.m. train to Ronkonkoma will depart Penn Station at the same time.
- In the p.m. peak, three trains will make an added stop at Central Islip. One of which will also extend to Ronkonkoma.
- The 4:57 p.m. train from Grand Central Madison to Brentwood will be extended to Central Islip.
- The 5:25 p.m. train from Penn Station to Brentwood will be extended to Central Islip and Ronkonkoma.
- The 6:53 p.m. train from Penn Station to Ronkonkoma will add a stop at Central Islip.
Port Jefferson Branch
- In the morning peak, the LIRR will add two local trains to Penn Station, which allow two trains from Huntington to operate express and reroute two trains that currently serve Grand Central to Atlantic Terminal, Brooklyn:
- The two new local trains to Penn Station will originate at Westbury at 6:34 a.m. and the other at Hicksville at 8:14 a.m.
- The 6:13 a.m. train from Huntington to Penn Station will depart at 6:15 a.m. and operate express from Hicksville to Jamaica.
- The 8:02 a.m. train from Huntington to Grand Central will depart six minutes later at 8:08 a.m. and operate express from Syosset to Jamaica.
- The 4:59 a.m. train from Huntington will depart five minutes earlier at 4:54 a.m. and run to Atlantic Terminal instead of Grand Central, with added stops at Floral Park, Elmont, Queens Village and Hollis.
- The 7:52 a.m. train from Mineola will start in Westbury at 7:47 a.m. and run to Atlantic Terminal, Brooklyn, instead of Grand Central, with an added stop at Carle Place.
Oyster Bay Branch
- Customers of the 7:17 a.m. train from Oyster Bay to Hunterspoint Avenue traveling to Penn Station will be able to change to a new train originating at Jamaica instead of connecting with a train already carrying passengers from Babylon.
- There will be four direct trains to Brooklyn from Elmont-UBS Arena, Queens Village, and Hollis each morning, up from one. The additional service at these stations will be provided by the following:
- The 4:59 a.m. train from Huntington will depart five minutes earlier at 4:54 a.m. and run to Atlantic Terminal instead of Grand Central, with added stops at Floral Park, Elmont, Queens Village, and Hollis.
- The 5:50 a.m. weekday train from Hempstead will run to Penn Station instead of Grand CentralThe 6:24 a.m. weekday train from Hempstead will depart at 6:22 a.m. and operate to Grand Central instead of Penn Station, express from Bellerose to Jamaica.
- The 7:52 a.m. train from Mineola to Grand Central, will originate in Westbury at 7:47 a.m. and instead operate to Brooklyn, with an added stop at Carle Place.
- The 8:32 a.m. train from Hempstead will depart at 8:33 a.m. and run to Atlantic Terminal instead of Penn Station
- In the morning peak, the 7:49 a.m. train from Freeport to Atlantic Terminal will operate to Grand Central, and the 8:54 a.m. train from Freeport will no longer operate. Alternate trains leave 16 minutes earlier or 6 minutes later.
Long Beach Branch
- During the morning peak, the 6:16 a.m. train from Long Beach will operate to Atlantic Terminal instead of Grand Central, with added stops at Laurelton and Locust Manor, restoring direct service to Brooklyn on the branch.
- During weekday middays, the 3:48 p.m. train from Penn Station to Long Beach will depart at 3:23p.m. to provide more evenly spaced service.
Far Rockaway Branch
- In the morning peak, four of ten trains from Far Rockaway will run to Atlantic Terminal instead of Manhattan, restoring direct service to Brooklyn on the branch.
- The 5:28 a.m. train from Far Rockaway will run to Atlantic Terminal instead of Grand Central
- The 5:45 a.m. train from Far Rockaway will run to Atlantic Terminal, instead of Penn Station, with an added stop at Rosedale.
- The 6:26 a.m. train from Far Rockaway will run to Atlantic Terminal, instead of Penn Station with added stops at Locust Manor, Laurelton and Rosedale.
- The 7:35 a.m. train from Far Rockaway will run to Atlantic Terminal, instead of Grand Central, with added stops Laurelton and Locust Manor.
West Hempstead Branch
- During the morning peak, the 6:26 a.m. train from West Hempstead will operate to Grand Central instead of Atlantic Terminal, Brooklyn.
- During the morning peak, trains will still run roughly every 8 minutes between Jamaica and Brooklyn, but more trains will be through-trains from Long Island departing from tracks 3, 4, or 5 rather than shuttles departing from tracks 11 or 12. The railroad advises customers to listen for announcements or use the TrainTime app to find the next train to Brooklyn.
- There is a new weekday train departing Atlantic Terminal at 3:32 p.m. to Jamaica.
- On weekdays, Brooklyn service will be temporarily reduced to one train per hour between roughly 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., to allow for mandatory track inspections in the tunnel between Atlantic Terminal and Jamaica.
Kew Gardens, Forest Hills and Woodside
- During off-peak hours (midday, evening, night and weekend), most trains that stop at Kew Gardens will also stop at Forest Hills and vice versa.
- To improve reliability during the morning peak, the railroad has adjusted which trains stop at Kew Gardens, Forest Hills, and/or Woodside. Customers are advised to double-check schedules online or the TrainTime app to look for adjusted train departure times.
There are no major changes on the Montauk Branch. Schedules will be available in August in the TrainTime app and online at https://new.mta.info/schedules.