Long Island Rail Road Service Cutbacks Start Monday

If you ride the Long Island Rail Road, plan ahead for service changes

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Service cutbacks hit the Long Island Rail Road this week. It's an arm of the MTA that has yet to bounce back from a dramatic dip in ridership since the start of the pandemic.

Starting Monday, the Long Island Rail Road is opening on a new schedule that more closely aligns with current ridership numbers. The MTA estimates regular ridership is still down 76 percent.

The changes will keep off-peak fares on all trains even during peak hours and there will be continued service on all 11 branches, but not as many trains will run.

The new service timetables can be found here.

"The new schedules will provide continued service on all 11 branches, and will allow us to operate more efficiently while supporting critical infrastructure work," the transit agency says.

During the middle of the day, Ronkonkoma, Hempstead, Far Rockaway, Port Washington and Long Beach trains will run on hourly schedules. Babylon and Huntington lines will run every half hour, according to the new schedule.

Riders going between Huntington and Port Jefferson can catch a train every 90 minutes while trains between West Hempstead and Speonk will run every two hours.

Regular riders of the Long Island Rail Road were still hearing of the changes to the schedule on Sunday. Ilana Markham said the service needs more trains, not less.

"I do not agree with that at all," she said. "Because on a daily basis we don't want to drive into the city we want to have easy access. That's the whole point of the system."

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