LIRR service cuts coming to most branches next week
There will soon be fewer Long Island Rail Road trains to get commuters in and out of New York City due to service cuts.
The service reduction going into effect Monday comes because of lower ridership during the pandemic.
The LIRR says ridership is currently at 25% to 30% of normal levels, with most of the reduction in ridership taking place on rush hour trains.
LIRR President Phil Eng says the railroad has been running about 90% of its trains, but the changes will drop that number to about 80%.
"They'll see that some trains are longer, they'll see we've added some stops," says Eng. "We want to make sure we support all our different stations, make sure our riders have options."
Peak period schedules will be changing for Babylon, Far Rockaway, Hempstead, Huntington, Long Beach, Oyster Bay, Port Washington and Ronkonkoma branches. No major changes are expected for Montauk or West Hempstead or at stations between Huntington and Port Jefferson or between Ronkonkoma and Greenport.
Off-peak service levels are not changing, but LIRR officials say riders who travel during those times should check the train's apps and website for changes to departures and connections.
Gerry Bringmann, with the LIRR Commuter Council, says with a 70% reduction in riders, running fewer trains makes sense.
"Normally, being chairman of the Commuter Council, I'd be the first person to be jumping up and down yelling and screaming, 'What are you doing, you can't cut service,' but these are different times," says Bringmann. "Even with the reduction, you'll have plenty of room, you won't be sitting next to anybody."
The MTA is also postponing a planned fare hike for a few months.