MTA reduces alternative bus routes and ferry service

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The MTA announced on Friday they will cancel ferry service from Long Island City and reduce temporary bus service to once per hour during rush periods effective Aug. 2.

The changes follows a demonstrated low demand for ferries and buses, which were part of the MTA’s mitigation plan to ease expected travel headaches from repairs taking place in Penn Station between July 10 and Sept. 1.

Instead, commuters have largely taken advantage of the added cars, trains and subway transfers.

MTA officials previously estimated that by adding 36 extra cars and three new trains they could accommodate the 9,600 customers affected by Amtrak’s track repair work.

Five Park & Ride facilities will remain for commuters who opt for buses. They will depart at 6:00 a.m., 7:00 a.m., 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. from each station for the morning rush hour. As for the evening commute, buses will depart from Penn Station at 3:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

The morning buses have two stops: the east side of 34th Street and 3rd Avenue and the west side at Penn Station along 34th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues. In addition to picking up from Penn Station, the evening buses will also pick up from the east side at 34th Street between Lexington and 3rd Avenues.

Originally there were eight Park & Ride facilities but low consumer demand cancelled three, one of which was in Port Washington.

Previously projected to cost about $18.5 million, the bus service was the second highest expense of the $58 million mitigation plan.

This is second only to the $22 million expected to be lost from fare reductions, toll reductions for trucks operating in evening hours and free subway transfers.

With the cancellation of Long Island City’s temporary ferry service and ferry shuttle from Hunterspoint, the MTA suggests using the 7 train at Hunters Point Avenue.

Ferry service to and from Glen Cove, however, remains unchanged. Previously MTA Chairman Joe Lhota said that this ferry operated between 35 and 40 percent capacity.

Just last week, the LIRR also added connections to AM peak-hour Brooklyn-bound trains. Three trains added stops at Jamaica, East New York and Nostrand Avenue.

With the Port Washington Branch, meanwhile, three trains saw tweaks in their schedules to reduce congestion at a key chokepoint leading into Penn Station.

For more information about schedule changes, visit lirrsummerschedule.com.

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