© 2022 WSHU
NPR News & Classical Music
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

More spacious Long Island Rail Road concourse at Penn Station is open

52339043283_9567e41a1a_k.jpg
Marc A. Hermann
/
Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Governor Kathy Hochul and MTA CEO Janno Lieber announce the completion of the first portion of work to widen the Long Island Rail Road 33rd Street concourse in Penn Station on Tuesday, Sep 6, 2022.

A section of Penn Station’s modernization overhaul is now complete. New York Governor Kathy Hochul joined Long Island Rail Road commuters on Tuesday to announce the construction milestone on the railway’s new concourse.

The rest of Penn Station is expected to be completed in early 2023.

“We are reviving Penn Station, making it world-class,” Hochul said. “The transit hub always should be because reviving Penn Station is the key to reviving New York.”

The updated concourse — which stretches from Seventh Avenue near the 1/2/3 subway to Eighth Avenue near the A/C/E subway — will allow for the LIRR to increase the number of trains headed into Manhattan by nearly 50%.

Each day, more than half of Penn Station's 600,000 users pass through the LIRR concourse, including over 200,000 daily LIRR riders. Ridership is expected to increase use by 40%.

“The LIRR has taken another step towards its transformation into a modern, more flexible and more accessible railroad,” said Catherine Rinaldi, LIRR interim president and Metro-North Railroad president.

This section of Penn Station will have brighter, more natural lighting with a now 18-foot high ceiling. The larger space will also provide more room for commuters for “ improved accessibility to create a more comfortable and welcoming space for everyone," Rinaldi said.

Train schedules are now digitally posted on every column for ease of access.

The concourse project is funded by $380 million in state money with 30% of the contracts awarded to minority and women-owned businesses. To date, the total cost of the 50-year overhaul of the corridor is $559 million.

The reconstruction of the Penn Station LIRR concourse is one of three major projects that is transforming the experience of LIRR riders in the coming months, along with opening of service to Grand Central Madison and the opening of a new third track.

Eric Warner is a news fellow at WSHU.