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LIRR Updates for Upcoming New York Islanders Season



UBS Arena, New York Islanders, Gary Bettman
UBS Arena, the new home of the New York Islanders in Belmont, NY (Photo-via UBS Arena Twitter)

With UBS Arena’s inaugural season already in the books, a constant question this offseason is what changes will be made to make the experience better for the New York Islanders faithful on game days.

Our Josh Linsenberg spoke to Newsday’s Long Island Railroad (LIRR) beat reporter Alfonso Castillo to discuss changes for this upcoming New York Islanders season:

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Q: What changes can New York Islanders fans expect this year on the LIRR?

A: The big thing is that they’re going to have westbound service there because the station opened up last year., Until October, there’s only eastbound services. So you could take the train there from Jamaica, but then you can’t take a train back from that station to Jamaica, because they just didn’t have the infrastructure set up yet. They said they would get that done by this summer. I don’t know exactly what the timeframe is, but they set it in time for the Islanders in October, so they are going to be running trains in both directions.

Q: Will the Belmont Park UBS Arena station see more service as a result of the expansion?

A: There was already the old Belmont Station but you really can’t run a lot of service there the way it’s aligned with the rest of the system but it does help in getting people back after an event because they do run trains out of there after events at UBS. But it’s like there are two trains and they’re like an hour apart or something like that. So it’s not a great option.

Q: Any improvements at the Elmont station?

A: A pedestrian bridge…..That was another thing that they needed to do to be able to run service in both directions as a way for people to get across the track to the other side. That might have been the biggest professionalization, as there was only a platform on one side of the tracks. Now they built a bridge crossing over it.

Q: If New York Islanders fans skip taking the train, what can they expect parking-wise this season?

A: Because parking is very expensive, I think a lot of people have taken to the streets right in residential areas near the arena. That’s also a problem. I’m not sure if it’s the town or the village but some locals are putting all kinds of parking restrictions now during event hours.

NYI Hockey Now reached out to the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and Metro Transit Authority (MTA) to discuss these changes in further detail but have not heard back as of yet. We will have another interview encompassing much more information for everyone when available.