Metro-North announces details of reduced service
Metro-North has released details on its reduced train service starting on Friday.
The railroads will start an amended Saturday schedule on the New Haven, Harlem and Hudson lines on Friday, until further notice.
“The amended schedule will provide all-day service for healthcare workers, first responders and essential employees who are on the frontlines of this public health crisis, from early in the morning until after midnight,” Metro-North said.
The schedule will have additional trains in the morning and afternoon peak periods, and hourly service during off-peak mid-day and evening periods.
During this special schedule, off-peak fares will be in effect.
The reduction in service follow a significant drop in ridership in response to federal, state and local health precautionary directives against COVID-19. The measure is also being taken to protect the health and safety of customers and employees.
In the last few weeks, Metro-North has seen a more than 90 percent drop on ridership.
In addition, the following phased-in schedule changes will take place:
- On Saturday and Sunday, it will run a regular weekend schedule.
- Starting April 4, on weekends until further notice it will run an hourly service on every line.
- The previously publicized March 29 schedule change will not go into effect until further notice.
Also, the North End entrances of Grand Central Terminal will close temporarily until further notice as of today. Other areas of the terminal may be closed temporarily on a periodic basis to accommodate COVID-19 precautions.
All ticket offices are temporarily closed for coronavirus precautions. Customers can use cash, credit, debit and contactless cards at Ticket Vending Machines to make their ticket purchases. Customers can also download MTA eTix.
On Wednesday, Patrick Foye, chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Metro-North’s parent. said the shrinking ridership caused by coronavirus protections, led to the largest service cutbacks in its history.
Foye said the reduced service is the result of massive ridership reductions — Metro-North is now carrying 94 percent less commuters than usual — that has gutted the agency’s revenue stream.
Foye said the good news is reduced ridership “preserves social distancing between customers and employees. The steps we are taking today helps flatten the curve.”
Catherine Rinaldi, president of Metro-North, said “Our crews and front line employees at Metro-North will continue to provide the service our customers deserve during these trying times," said .
“Our ridership has seen a steep decline over the past several weeks, but health care workers and other first responders continue to ride our trains every day,” Rinaldi said.
“While some reduction in service makes sense right now, we will continue to run a safe and reliable service to get these critical employees to their places of employment every day,’ Rinaldi added.
Bill Cummings contributed to this report.