Monday, June 17, marks the start of a major renovation effort to transform the customer experience at Penn Station. The project will focus on improving access along the 33rd Street Corridor and 7th Avenue entrance, and includes a dramatic new entrance pavilion that will introduce natural light into the station environment.
The new entrance, with views of the iconic Empire State Building, will provide much-needed direct access to the Long Island Rail Road Main Concourse and the New York City Subway. The project will eliminate congestion by doubling customer access and egressing capacity to the LIRR level when it is completed in 2020, enhancing safety and security for passengers. The overall Penn Station redevelopment master plan – which includes the creation of the Moynihan Train Hall – continues to move forward and will fully transform Penn Station into a modern, world-class transportation hub.
The project also includes new escalators from street-level, a widened corridor, higher ceilings, brighter lighting, new wayfinding signage, artwork and new ticketing and passenger information systems. The overall cost of the project is currently estimated to be $590-$600 million, with $170 million provided by MTA and the remainder funded by New York State.
Work will be staged to minimize impact on customers. The first stage of construction will mainly affect the LIRR Ticket Office area, resulting in the following changes:
- Six ticket windows will close.
- The alphabetical train departure board above the Ticket Office will be removed.
- Four Ticket Machines will be relocated.
To accommodate customers, ticket agents equipped with hand-held ticket-selling devices will be deployed on high-volume ticket-purchasing days, and digital train and track information displays will be placed in key locations.
Passengers traveling via the Long Island Rail Road from Penn Station are urged to purchase their tickets via the MTA eTix® app, which can be downloaded here: http://www.mta.info/mta-eTix-promo. Customers can view train track assignments on other monitors at Penn Station, or view them on a smartphone at myLIRR.org, by selecting “Penn Station.” Customers who use the LIRR Train Time® app, can view track information on the “Arrival Countdown” feature on the app, which can be downloaded here: http://web.mta.info/lirr/traintimeapp/.
Construction activity can be avoided by waiting for trains in the new, spacious West End Concourse near 8th Avenue. For more information, please visit the New 33rd Street Corridor/LIRR Train Hall project page on AModernLI.com – http://www.amodernli.com/project/east-end-gateway-and-lirr-concourse/.