Economy

MTA to encourage flexible work hours during Penn Station repairs

MTA to encourage flexible work hours during Penn Station repairs

The MTA, at last, has a plan.

The Metropolitan Authority Transportation said it needs to cut service by about 20 percent into and out of Penn Station starting next month.

Governor Andrew Cuomo is accelerating construction on NY bridges and tunnels so the work is complete before Amtrak begins emergency repairs at Pennsylvania Station next month.

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Businesses will be getting letters from the MTA encouraging them to give workers "flexibility" in work hours and locations when LIRR scrambles service at Penn Station this summer while Amtrak will be taking up track space for emergency repairs.

The MTA's Long Island Rail Road plans to add train cars and new bus and ferry routes during Amtrak's repairs.

To free up equipment, the LIRR is canceling three overnight trains from 2 a.m. -4 a.m., and providing supplemental bus service during that time.

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The MTA will not offer riders a discount for their trouble - and officials said they did not know yet how they will be paying for all the extra services. But the authority will not reduce fares for travelers affected by shutdowns and delays.

In addition to the reroutes and added vehicles, Hakim touted the launch of a public awareness campaign to keep riders informed throughout what she said will be a long summer.

"This is really an all-hands-on-deck action plan", interim MTA director Ronnie Hakim said.

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Cancellations and delays during the evening LIRR rush are at their highest level in 10 years, the Wall Street Journal reported, and ridership rose 11% from 2011 to 2016, to 89 million, the largest number since 1949. That work is expected to be done before Labor Day.


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