Governor Hochul Announces Start of Two-Way Event Day Service at LIRR Elmont-UBS Arena Station

Chris Boyle

Originally published in

Governor Kathy Hochul has announced the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Long Island Rail Road Elmont-UBS Arena Station, the first new LIRR station in almost 50 years, can now accommodate both eastbound and westbound trains on UBS Arena event days and will begin full-time year-round service by the end of 2022. Starting today, Long Islanders who live east of Belmont Park will have a one-seat ride straight to UBS Arena events. This will reduce travel times and is expected to increase the number of event attendees who use public transportation, helping alleviate traffic congestion on Long Island. Those traveling from New York City can now directly return after events on many trains without the need to board a shuttle bus to Queens Village Station that had been offered last year. 

"Having both modern, accessible platforms open at the world-class Elmont-UBS Arena Station is a victory for Long Island and the State of New York," Governor Hochul said. "New Yorkers will now enjoy a smoother ride to and from Islanders games and concerts, and I look forward to continuing to bring transformative projects like this one to all corners of the Empire State." 

"Infrastructure is what makes it possible for the state and Long Island to flourish both socially and economically," said Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado. "With projects like the Main Line Third Track, Grand Central Madison and this new Elmont-UBS Arena station, New York is providing Long Islanders and visitors to the island with a modern, world class, resilient railroad system which will also help reduce traffic congestion." 

Construction of the new station comes at zero cost to the LIRR and MTA. Arena developers and New York State partnered to fully finance the estimated $105 million project. Of the total cost, more than 90% was paid by the arena developers with New York State contributing the remainder. The State's contribution is a fraction of the new tax revenue the project is expected to generate. This project shows the transformation that public private partnerships can have on public transportation.   

Elmont-UBS Arena station features two 12-car-long, high-level platforms with canopies, USB charging stations, Help Points, security cameras, digital signs with train arrival information, Wi-Fi, and a state-of-the-art snow melting system embedded in the concrete of the platforms to ensure they remain free of snow and ice during winter storms. The new station is fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, featuring a wide pedestrian overpass designed to accommodate large crowds and two elevators, one for each platform. 

MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said, "UBS Arena has had a schedule filled with huge events since it opened last fall and with both platforms now in service New Yorkers will have direct railroad access to Islanders games, concerts and more other events. Together with completion of the Third Track and opening of service to Grand Central Terminal, this on-time, on-budget Elmont project shows how we are dramatically increasing service, convenience, and options for LIRR customers."  

Long Island Rail Road Interim President and Metro-North Railroad President Catherine Rinaldi said, "The MTA has made a massive investment in Long Island's future with mega-projects like the third track on the Main Line, a new LIRR concourse at Penn Station, and a new terminal at Grand Central Madison. Elmont-UBS Arena Station is an example of the great things that can be done by investing in local infrastructure.  Having both platforms now open creates a new option for people to get to events at the arena and it will help improve the environment by reducing traffic on local roads." 

MTA Construction & Development President Jamie Torres-Springer said, "This is the first new LIRR station in almost 50 years, delivered on time and under budget. Thanks to innovative construction techniques and dogged project management, we're meeting our promise to have Elmont-UBS Arena station ready for two-way service in advance of the new Islanders season." 

Empire State Development Board Chairman Kevin Law said, "Having both westbound and eastbound platforms operational at Elmont-UBS Arena Station will enhance service for Long Islanders and spur economic activity by connecting commuters to businesses in the area and events at UBS Arena. Under Governor Hochul's leadership, New York State will continue to deliver modernized and improved service on railroads and subways that will get New Yorkers moving because economic growth and reliable mass transportation go hand in hand." 

State Senator Leroy Comrie said, "As we look to move our state to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly future, having Westbound service at the newest LIRR station in 50 years at Elmont-UBS Arena Station, will provide a one seat ride to the venue that diminishes congestion and encourages public transit. Investment in transit yields benefits that are lasting in local communities and leveraging public-private partnerships, is a necessary step towards reimagining transportation in New York. I want to extend kudos to Governor Hochul, UBS Arena Partners, as well as the MTA/LIRR teams that worked closely with my colleagues and I, but most importantly, with the local communities to see this station go from conceptual to reality." 

State Senator Anna M. Kaplan said, "The new Elmont Station is a critical investment in our community that will let Islander fans take the train to the game, and finally give residents in the neighborhood a full-time stop on the LIRR main line. The new station is a shining example of the great things that we can accomplish when we invest in infrastructure on Long Island, and it's a testament to all the workers who showed up throughout the pandemic to get it done on-time and on-budget." 

Assemblymember Michaelle C. Solages said, "With the start of two-way event day service at the LIRR Elmont-UBS Arena Station, we are one step closer to fully realizing a long-cherished goal on behalf of residents. From its inception, we've strived to make this redevelopment project a positive experience for the community of Elmont, and these changes will only enhance the overall efficiency and convenience of the LIRR. We're excited for this one seat-ride to events and are looking forward to having a full-service station that commuters can depend on year-round. 

Kim Stone, President of UBS Arena, said, "In just 30 minutes, fans can conveniently travel from Penn Station to UBS Arena via the Long Island Rail Road. With new eastbound and westbound service at Elmont-UBS Arena Station on event days, even more of New York now has easy access to our amazing venue. Many thanks to Governor Hochul, Lt. Gov. Delgado, the State Legislature and all of the hard-working men and women of the Long Island Railroad." 

Gerard Bringmann, Chair of the LIRR Commuter Council and MTA Board Member said, "Today's kick off of event-specific two-way service at the Elmont Station is the next important step for this first new LIRR station in 50 years, coinciding with the start of the Islanders' 50th anniversary season. Riders to the new station and to UBS arena have a lot to celebrate - and once East Side Access is complete, we'll see more regular service for the community as well. This station is one of many major LIRR improvements coming this year, helping to make transit the first choice of even more Long Islanders and encouraging people from around the region to ride the train when they visit Long Island. The best way to bring riders back is to keep investing in them, with new stations like Elmont and with service that meets their needs." 

GO-505 General Chairman for SMART Transportation Division Anthony Simon said, "The new Elmont station is yet another example of MTA/LIRR's commitment to improve on both the commuter experience and service to special events. The addition of the westbound platform completes the full benefit of the station and will provide more options to and from the new UBS Arena. We thank all of our hard working union brothers and sisters for another successful infrastructure mega project. Thank you to Governor Hochul for her continued support and commitment to MTA/LIRR commuters and the communities it serves. 

Islanders Co-Owner Jon Ledecky said, "Elmont Station provides an essential transportation option for hockey and music fans going to and from UBS Arena. Taking the train is the most sustainable way for our fans to get to the games - it's fast, it's efficient, it's effective and it's only 30 minutes from Penn Station." 

The station includes new artwork unveiled today entitled Cyclical Everything by artist Shawna X. The artwork uses an oval motif throughout that is meant to represent the nearby racetrack and arena, as well as the evolving and transformative nature of Elmont, and the many distinctive cultures at home around this historic attraction. Metal panels, set in the railing that runs along the south platform and in the ramp of the north platform, capture the rhythmic form using bold black lines. The station overpass is enlivened by a series of ten brightly colored laminated glass panels that depict bodies in motion, referencing musicians, athletes, and performers at the nearby newly built UBS Arena. 

Elmont-UBS Arena Station began service to coincide with the New York Islanders first home game in November 2021 at the brand-new UBS Arena. As well, the venue has invested in additional capital investments to the surrounding area near the station and on its campus to further benefit the guest experience while on site. They will also be working alongside team and venue partners to offer a variety of different incentives for fans to encourage them to take the train to UBS Arena throughout the season. 

When LIRR service to Grand Central Madison begins at the end of this year, Elmont-UBS Arena Station will become a full-time station on the Hempstead Branch with service 365 days a year.