New York Governor Kathy Hochul and MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber rode the inaugural Long Island Rail Road train to Grand Central Madison, which arrived at the terminal platform at 11:07 a.m. The train was the first of Grand Central Direct trains now operating between Jamaica and Grand Central Madison between 6:15 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on weekdays and between 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. on weekends. Trains are running every 30 minutes in both directions during weekday midday periods as well as on weekends, and once per hour during peak periods – arriving in Grand Central between 6:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. and departing between 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Grand Central Madison is the first new major downtown rail terminal in the United States in 67 years and the first expansion of the LIRR in 112 years, since service began to Penn Station on September 8, 1910. The terminal provides Long Island with service to both sides of Manhattan for the first time. The space includes two prominent permanent artworks by internationally renowned artists. An 875-square-foot abstract and figurative glass mosaic by Yayoi Kusama entitled A Message of Love, Directly from My Heart unto the Universe is located on the Madison Concourse at the main ticketing area, between 46th and 47th streets. Four glass mosaics by Kiki Smith totaling approximately 600 square feet will bring nature inspired by Long Island to the Mezzanine level, and a fifth mosaic by Smith on the Madison Concourse totaling 800 square feet was inspired by the way sunlight glints off the surface of the East River.
The beginning of service now enables the possibility of transferring directly between the LIRR and Metro-North Railroad. To encourage riders from each railroad to try the other, when full LIRR service begins to Grand Central Madison, the MTA will introduce the “Combo Ticket” – a single ticket that enables customers to travel between Long Island, Manhattan’s northern suburbs and Connecticut all with one fare.
The Combo Ticket will enable riders to buy a LIRR ticket in Huntington for a trip to White Plains or a Metro-North ticket in Poughkeepsie for a trip to Montauk. Riders choose their origin station with Grand Central as their destination and pay the regular fare plus a flat rate of eight dollars for a continuing trip to any destination on the other railroad. The Combo Ticket will go into effect once the Grand Central Madison timetables are implemented.
The Grand Central Madison systemwide timetables are expected to include 274 more trains each weekday than currently operate, a historic 41 percent service increase made possible in part by the completion on October 3 of a new 9.8-mile Main Line third between Floral Park and Hicksville. The timetables represent the first comprehensive rewrite of LIRR schedules in decades and the MTA encourages all riders, no matter when or where they travel, to review their options on the TrainTime app or review the LIRR’s service overview to see new options for their travel.
-via Press Release