1st new LIRR station in 50 years opening just in time for Islanders homecoming

ELMONT, Long Island (WABC) -- A new LIRR station will open to riders on Saturday, just in time for the New York Islanders' first home game at the soon-to-open UBS Arena.

The new station at Elmont is the first addition to the railroad system in 50 years and will allow easier travel to the venue and Belmont Park.

"Nothing says New York is back like building bigger and better transportation infrastructure," Governor Kathy Hochul said. "Just in time for the Islanders' season opener, the start of service for the first new LIRR station in 50 years is the type of project that my administration will continue to pursue as we strive to make Long Island more accessible and give Long Islanders the quality public transportation they deserve."

The Islanders have played all 12 of their games on the road this season, with one more on tap before they finally christen their new home.

The additional station will give riders east of Belmont on the Hempstead, Oyster Bay, Port Jefferson and Ronkonkoma lines the chance to take a direct route to UBS Area for the first time.

The MTA is hopeful that the additional station will increase use of public transportation to events at the UBS Arena and Belmont Park and help alleviate traffic congestion on Long Island.

"As New York continues its comeback, this beautiful, modern new station will provide our customers with the fastest, safest and greenest way to get to the state-of-the-art UBS Arena," MTA Acting Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said. "This station delivers amenities and conveniences that give customers the ability to enjoy New York Islanders games, concerts and all of the fantastic events that will happen here, further incentivizing them to return to mass transit."

Starting Saturday, riders will be able to take eastbound trains to the new station and can use the nearby Belmont station for returning westbound traffic.

Full service will begin next summer when the westbound platform opens.

The canopied platforms will feature USB charging stations, digital train arrival signs and a snow melting system to prevent ice and snow build up during the winter months.

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