LIRR Service Changes Coming to Queens Following the Urging from Area Legislators Hevesi, Schulman, Meng, Comrie

Queens, NY – The Long Island Railroad (LIRR), in response to four legislators representing Central Queens – Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi, Council Member Lynn Schulman, Representative Grace Meng, and Senator Leroy Comrie – has reviewed newly-implemented service changes across the borough, and once again amended service, in order to account for concerns of commuters who utilize the LIRR stations at Kew Gardens and Forest Hills.

Announced in February, the initial proposed changes from LIRR had re-routed service between Queens and Penn Station, to the newly opened Grand Central Station terminal on Manhattan’s east side. In a letter sent to the agency on February 24th, the legislators expressed appreciation of the agency’s efforts to expand service to Grand Central, however, they did not believe the expansion “should come at the cost of service cuts…to long standing customers of LIRR.”

Specifically, the cuts included elimination of early-morning train service from Kew Gardens to Penn Station; elimination of late-afternoon service from Penn Station to Forest Hills; elimination of late-night service from Penn Station to Forest Hills and Kew Gardens; and elimination of all service between Kew Gardens and Forest Hills.

In continued communications, the legislators verified that westbound early-morning service from Kew Gardens to Penn Station, and eastbound late-afternoon service from Penn Station to Forest Hills had been restored. As of March 14th, the agency had also been reviewing additional requests from legislators, including to restore service between Kew Gardens and Forest Hills, as well as late night service from Penn Station to Queens.

“We have maintained continuous contact with LIRR to keep concerns on their radar, and to LIRR’s credit, agency leadership and staff have been incredibly helpful and responsive. These restorations in service will relieve huge burdens on commuters, and we’re hopeful that additional restorations will follow.” said Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi.

“Thank you to the LIRR for hearing our concerns and being responsive to the issues we raised about the change in schedules negatively impacting our constituents,” said Congresswoman Meng. “LIRR customers deserve convenient service, especially when commuting to and from work, and we’re hopeful that even more restorations will be made soon.”

"I want to thank and commend the MTA/LIRR for being flexible and seeing local community input as a priority with the recent schedule changes," said Senator Leroy Comrie. "With the rollout of the long anticipated Grand Central Madison, commuters now have options when travelling into the Central Business District and it is important that we continue to work together to improve service for Queens residents."

“Mobility is a fundamental part of making our city function for everyone,” said Council Member Lynn Schulman. “I am glad the LIRR listened to our communities and made necessary changes to ease travel for the commuters of Forest Hills and Kew Gardens. We will continue to monitor the situation and keep the LIRR accountable to our constituents.”