Thursday, October 04, 2012

Metro-North keeps pursuing off-peak ridership

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MTA Metro-North Railroad has unveiled schedule changes to occur Oct. 14 which, among other things, increases off-peak and weekend service offerings.

The railroad, on its website, said the schedule change "brings the first round of record service improvements, adding 69 trains per week to our East of Hudson service. That includes 15 additional weekday and 30 additional weekend trains on the New Haven Line and 24 additional weekend trains on the Harlem Line."

Metro-North notes, "We are extending half-hourly service between Grand Central [Terminal] and New Haven [Conn.] by three hours on Saturday and four hours on Sunday to accommodate our growing weekend ridership."

The railroad also is bolstering skip-stop or "semi-express" service on the New Haven Line during the weekend. "New semi-express trains depart New Haven at 12:31p.m., 1:31p.m., and 5:29p.m., stopping at our busiest stations on the way to Stamford, before proceeding to Harlem-125th Street and Grand Central. This change enables us to provide inbound half-hourly service on the outer New Haven Line from 7 a.m. through 6p.m. on Saturdays, and through 7p.m. on Sundays (except between the hours of 2p.m. and 4p.m.).

"New semi-express trains will depart Grand Central for New Haven at 3:34p.m.., 8:34 p.m. and 9:34 p.m., running express to Stamford and then making stops at the busiest stations on the way to New Haven. We will now provide outbound half-hourly service on the outer New Haven Line from 3 p.m. through 10 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

"On Sundays, half-hourly service will be offered between Grand Central and Stamford from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. inbound, and from 1:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. outbound. (Until now, we have offered only hourly Stamford local service on Sundays.)

"Finally," Metro-North said, "to accommodate requests from the Connecticut Rail Commuter Council and the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CDOT), hourly off-peak and weekend trains will make all stops between New Haven and Stamford, providing all main line stations with hourly service during these periods. (Trains departing New Haven and Grand Central on the half-hour will not make these additional stops.)"

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