One of the New York City’s busiest transit hubs is getting a $64.9 million investment to improve service for its regional rail riders.
The MTA announced Wednesday that two stations on the Long Island Rail Road — Jamaica and Hicksville — are receiving money from the agency’s $27 Billion Capital Program to make improvements.
The Jamaica station, which serves as a transfer point between the LIRR, subway and AirTrain, will be getting upgrades to its platform and tracks. LIRR has awarded a $64.9 million contract for this work.
New platform and tracks “will allow the LIRR to more easily re-route trains, take tracks out of service and support supplemental train service to and from Atlantic Terminal for customers attending games and events at the Barclays Center,” according to the MTA. Enhancements will also include glass-enclosed, heated waiting areas; Wi-Fi and USB charging stations; and art glass installations on the station’s westerly bridge and stairs leading from the new station platform to the AirTrain mezzanine.
Part of the Jamaica Capacity Improvements Project, the station revamp aims to streamline track configurations, which have remained largely unchanged since the station was built in 1913, and to speed up service. The overhaul, which began in 2010 is being carried out in two phases with a projected investment of $442 million by the end of 2019, when the new platform is slated to open.
"More tracks and platforms mean fewer delays. This award for Phase I of the project, which is funded by the Capital Plan, is great news. It will help speed up what LIRR customers have come to call ‘the Jamaica Crawl,’ introduce new services such as Wi-Fi and USB charging stations, and build on our ongoing commitment to renew, enhance and expand every aspect of the MTA," MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast said.
The MTA also announced Wednesday that a $121 million modernization of the LIRR’s Hicksville, Long Island station will begin this month. Upgrades to the 55-year-old station are expected to be completed by the spring of 2018.