LIRR finalizes plans for Penn Station repairs

HICKSVILLE, New York (WABC) -- MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota says no doubt Monday is going to be a test of all of the planning they have been doing for Long Island Railroad. Right now, that's what they are doing - reviewing bus and ferry service plans and making sure everything is finalized.

Starting on Monday (July 10), Amtrak is reducing the number of available tracks to make emergency repairs over the next 8 weeks. LIRR will be reducing service in and out of Penn Station by about 20 percent, canceling some or rerouting others to Jamaica Station in Queens and Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn.

On the conference call, Lhota said they will be adding several cars to peak trains that will be running.

"We put together enough train capacity in the morning equal to the number of riders that we had. I would encourage as many people as possible to take the train," he said. "If you take the train now, you should take the train next week as well. We put additional trains in the peak hours and for those existing trains we have, we added two additional cars. We have, in fact, provided enough seats for a normal day."

Buses will be leaving from eight stops throughout Nassau and Suffolk. They say they have done dry runs and are good to go.

The MTA will be coordinating with Nassau and Suffolk police on HOV and traffic enforcement.

"As someone who is frequently on the Long Island Expressway, adding more cars is not the right thing to do. Take advantage of mass transit. I think we put together enough resources to make this happen very, very well," Lhota said.

Some commuters told us that their companies are trying to organize carpools.

"They have set up something where they are trying to tie in people so that you can get to a site, internally, and see if there are people that live around the neighborhood where you are, to see if they can connect you to another employee and maybe you can alternate and carpool together," Jericho resident Karina Bhavnani said.

Another option is ferry service operating out of Glen Cove. There will be a ferry that will leave for Wall Street at 6:10 a.m. and another at 6:35 a.m., returning at 6:30 p.m. from 34th Street and 4:30 p.m. from Wall Street.

If bus service is better for you, many buses will start leaving around 6 a.m. MTA will be tracking the commute so if they notice there are more bus stops that need more buses, they will adjust

Many commuters at the Hicksville train station said they already have a plan for Monday and are good to go.

Others told us they had absolutely no idea any of this were going on, so they were thankful that we had told them. They said they will spend the weekend trying to figure out their plans.

For anyone who needs more information about the repairs and service changes, please visit the MTA's special website:

New Jersey Transit and Amtrak have also announced schedule and service changes that begin on Monday.

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