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East New York LIRR Station Should Also be Revamped, Advocates Say

Overdue improvements to the station include better signage and wayfinding, pedestrian-friendly connections, and accessibility upgrades.
Community members rally for the East New York LIRR station to be part of the broader Broadway Junction rejuvenation project.

Community members and transportation advocates rallied on Friday to demand improvements to the East New York Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) station. 

Over $500 million in city, state, and federal funding is slated for a large Broadway Junction rehabilitation project, yet there are no improvements planned for the East New York LIRR station, advocates said through a news release. 

“For far too long, the MTA has neglected the East New York LIRR station,” said Council Member Sandy Nurse. “Study after study has shown that the station is in desperate need of upgrades, including better connectivity to Broadway Junction, safer pedestrian walkways, and full ADA compliance."

Nurse said it was "downright dangerous" to try and get to the LIRR station and urged the city and state to improve transit access and equity.  

The East NY LIRR station has been systemically ignored, according to Reverend Christine Valentine, a steering committee member of the East New
York Coalition for Community Advancement.

"We have outdated sewers and fire services in our community, only one station entrance, no elevator accessibility, no ramp accessibility, no ticket office hours, no waiting room hours and no adequate lighting," she said.

The plan to redevelop Broadway Junction currently includes updating the MTA subway station, which includes the A, C, L, J and Z lines, to ensure ADA compliance, improve the surrounding streetscape and pedestrian safety. Once complete, the Interborough Express, a new train line, will also serve as a connection to the Atlantic L stop via an "open cut" segment and is expected to provide free transfers to Broadway Junction and Atlantic Avenue stations. 

The East New York LIRR station is a critical transit node connecting Broadway Junction, the Atlantic Avenue L subway station, as well as the potentially forthcoming Interborough Express Station, advocates said.

“Accessibility is not an option, it is a right and a requirement, and at this time neither the Broadway Junction nor East New York stations are fully accessible,” said Jeff Peters, director of communications for the Center for Independence of the Disabled, NY (CIDNY). “Accessibility benefits all riders and community members and we must ensure that our public transportation is available to everyone.”

According to the MTA’S 2022 Annual Ridership Report, the City Terminal Zone branch of the LIRR, which includes the East New York LIRR station, saw 5.7 million annual riders, marking a 41% increase from the year before. According to the State’s Open Data portal, the LIRR is exceeding pre-pandemic capacity systemwide with a daily ridership of 321,569 as of March 2, 2024.