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Published on : Saturday, November 16, 2013
MTA Long Island Rail Road President Helena E. Williams today was joined by officials representing the North Shore to encourage Port Washington Branch customers to take advantage of the restoration of half-hourly weekend service between Port Washington and Penn Station starting Saturday, November 16.
To meet demand for more frequent weekend service on the busy Port Washington branch, the LIRR is adding 32 trains to the Saturday and Sunday schedules for a branch that serves the North Shore of Nassau County with stations at Great Neck, Manhasset, Plandome and Port Washington and the northern Queens stations: Flushing-Main St., Murray Hill, Broadway, Auburndale, Bayside, Douglaston.
“The MTA is committed to improving train service whenever possible and one of our priorities in Queens and on Nassau County’s North Shore has been to find a way to increase LIRR Port Washington Branch service to a level that meets customer demand,” said MTA Chairman & CEO Thomas F. Prendergast. “With the restoration last year of off-peak half-hourly service on weekdays and, beginning tomorrow, 30 minutes on the weekend, we are meeting that goal.”
LIRR President Williams said: “These trains are being added to the schedule just in time for the holiday season, so it will be much more convenient to travel into the city for shopping, sightseeing and entertainment. When we increase frequency of service, our ridership goes up. We know Port Washington customers have been asking for this. We have heard them and we are responding with this restoration of more weekend service.”
The additional weekend trains will bring the Port Washington Branch back to the level of service it enjoyed before September 2010, when half-hourly service during off-peak hours and on weekends was reduced to hourly service as part of a larger MTA initiative to close a $900 million budget gap. The restoration of 30 minute service during off-peak hours on weekdays was accomplished in 2012.
Williams outlined the Port Washington Branch improvements at a press conference at the LIRR’s Port Washington Station along with State Senator Jack Martins and Nassau County Legislator Wayne H. Wink, Jr.
State Senator Jack M. Martins said: “The Port Washington community was disproportionately affected by the MTA’s service cuts three years ago. Weekday half hour service was restored last year. I am glad to see that the Long Island Rail Road continues to listen and has now restored half hour service on the weekends.”
North Hempstead Town Supervisor-Elect Judi Bosworth said: “It is important for the LIRR to make public transportation more convenient and accessible for our residents. Restoring half-hourly train service from Port Washington gives our residents more options, enhancing our quality of life here in North Hempstead. In addition, more trains should also attract more riders, reducing the number of cars on our roads, which helps our environment – a win-win for all of us.”