Southeast Queens leaders applauded Governor Kathy Hochul’s announcement Tuesday, Nov. 16, that the new Long Island Rail Road station near Belmont Park will be open in time for the New York Islanders’ first home game at UBS Arena.
The first new LIRR station sits between Bellerose and Queens Village at the Queens and Nassau border.
State Senator Leroy Comrie, chair of the Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Committee, said he’s continuously challenged the MTA and its affiliates to reimagine transportation across the state.
“I am proud to see the MTA/LIRR is receptive to that vision while remaining committed to direct community input throughout the entirety of the process,” Comrie said. “Protecting our environment, the integrity and quality of life of local neighborhoods; relieving congestion; providing full ADA accessibility; and encouraging people to use mass transit are all benchmarks of the new Elmont Station that will allow us to hit squarely on the bull’s-eye.”
The station will initially offer eastbound service to the new home of the New York Islanders and service will increase next summer when the westbound platform opens.
At this time, the station will begin full-time, year-round service to the local community and will begin to provide westbound service to and from events at UBS Arena and Belmont Park.
“This is a great example of when government and private partnerships work,” Assemblyman Clyde Vanel said. “We are excited about all the economic opportunities we are having in Nassau County and in Queens. It’s great to have such partners going forward and we cannot wait until Saturday. I’m a season ticket holder, so I’m excited.”
The $1.1 billion multi-purpose, state-of-the-art UBS Arena located at Belmont Park, will host more than 150 major events annually and is designed to hold up to 19,000 people for concerts and audiences up to 17,250 for NHL games.
The LIRR station will help reduce travel times and is expected to increase the number of event attendees who use public transportation, helping to alleviate traffic congestion in the surrounding communities.
“Modern, reliable transportation is the linchpin of New York’s future economic growth,” Empire State Development Acting Commissioner Hope Knight said. “From traveling to and from work to exploring the region to attending an event at UBS Arena at Belmont Park, the new Elmont LIRR station will go a long way towards ensuring New Yorkers’ commutes are safe and swift.”
Knight was the president and CEO of the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation for nearly a decade until last month when the governor appointed her as the commissioner of the Department of Economic Development and as the president and CEO of Empire State Development.
“Nothing says New York is back like building bigger and better transportation infrastructure,” Hochul said.
MTA Acting Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said the new station will provide customers with the fastest, safest and greenest way to get to the state-of-the-art UBS Arena.
“This station delivers amenities and conveniences that gives customers the ability to enjoy New York Islanders games, concerts and all of the fantastic events that will happen here, further incentivizing them to return to mass transit,” Lieber said.