LIRR riders face service changes as new Penn Station work begins
Long Island Rail Road riders faced service changes Monday as a new round of work at Penn Station got underway.
The MTA says the latest phase of track work involves rerouting eight out of 184 rush-hour trains. To reduce the impact of the diversions, the LIRR is adding five trains before or after rush hours, and adding more cars to five trains to boost seating capacity.
Unlike the summer repair work, there will not be any bus or ferry service offered – or any fare reductions. The work is expected to continue through May 28.
Commuters in Huntington Station were dealing with 10- to 15-minute delays Monday morning, and riders say the issues were compounded by having to wait on the platform in the bitter cold.
"It's still going to be an inconvenience to commuters and you know, that's just the way it is," says Peter Haynes, of the rider advocacy group LIRR Commuter Council. "The winter weather is throwing a monkey wrench into everything for the workers on the railroad and the commuters."
Some riders say they're already used to dealing with delays.
"Even with the construction we have the same amount of delays as always on the LIRR. I'm used to being late," says rider Kristin Schmidt, of Huntington. "I'm used to it not getting me where I need to be on time."
In a statement, the LIRR president said, "We are committed to providing our customers with exemplary service and travel options despite this small disruption."