Amid chaos, MTA posts summer plans


Anticipating punishing delays for Long Island Rail Road commuters while infrastructure repairs are made this summer, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority released an extensive alternate transportation plan on June 12, saying the arrangement will help alleviate disruptions for LIRR commuters.

Schedule changes for the trains themselves were not announced.

 The plan, which will run from July 10 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 pm and 5 am  to alleviate congestion on roads.

 Commuters will be able to connect to subways at Jamaica, Atlantic Terminal and Hunters Point 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.

Ferries from Glen Cove on the North Shore to 34th Street in Manhattan will run between 6 and 10 am and 3 and 7 pm. No South Shore service was announced.

 There will also be service between Hunters Point Avenue in Long Island City to the 34th Street pier.

A network of 200 buses will provide service from Long Island commuter parking lots to Manhattan and will run Monday through Friday from 6 to 10 am and 3 to 7 pm.

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 these eight locations:

• 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

 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 state Department of Transportation, politicians, nonprofits, and private industry executives.