For those of you who aren’t from Long Island and the idea of walking into Penn Station with an end destination but no idea how to get there, I’m here to help. This past weekend I took the LIRR for the FIRST time to go to my best friend’s bridal shower. I was absolutely terrified, especially because I had to transfer trains at Jamaica which before coming to New York, I thought only existed in the Caribbean…
So the biggest help will be your friends that are from Long Island. They will give you the best advice as to how to take on the train system.
- Figure out where you’re going
- Use the LIRR Trip Planner to see what trains you need to take http://lirr42.mta.info/
- When you arrive in Penn, follow the signs to the LIRR. You have the option to use the ticket window to buy your tickets, the ticket machine similar to refilling your MetroCard, buying the tickets online, or buying them on the train (more expensive).
- Tickets will vary in price depending on the day and time that you are traveling, which you can view on the trip planner. You can purchase single ride, round trip, monthly passes and several other options
- Once you purchase your ticket, you will look up at the big screen that tells you what time your train is arriving and what track it is on. If you followed step #2, you will know what train you are taking. Anywhere from 4-12 minutes prior to departure, the screen will notify you of what train your track is on and you as well as 50+ other people will all rush in the same direction. Follow their lead if you are going on that train!
- If you have to transfer at Jamaica, the connection train will always be across the track upon arrival or a few minutes later. If you are not taking the connection train, then you must go and find your train. Ask the people around you as well as employees. They know best!
- While on the train the conductor will come around and hole punch your ticket and return it to you depending on the type of ticket that you have and your destination. Be sure that if you are on a round trip, don’t lose your ticket coming back to the city!
That pretty much covers it! Good luck on the LIRR!