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Plans for shuttle service between Jamaica and Atlantic Terminal emerge (2021-22)

Hey, remember one of the reasons for the Vanderbilt Yard upgrade? It's supposed to help fuel Long Island Rail Road shuttle service between the hub in Jamaica and Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn. And the delays in finishing the upgraded yard--finally due this year--have been less damaging because plans for the upgraded LIRR service have been delayed as well.

Newsday, in a 3/25/19 article headlined New amenities coming to Jamaica station, but it might be bad marriage for Brooklyn, reported:
A $380 million effort to unclog and modernize the Long Island Rail Road’s hectic Jamaica station will bring new amenities, track infrastructure, and even an additional platform for riders, but also could complicate the travels of tens of thousands of Brooklyn-bound commuters.
Although the long-discussed Jamaica Capacity Improvements project, or “JCI” as its known, promises several upgrades needed to handle the booming demand at the 106-year-old station, one key aspect of the effort — the construction of a new track and platform on the far south side of the station that will be used for shuttle trains on the Brooklyn line — could spell the end of one-seat rides or easy connections for the railroad’s 30,000 daily Atlantic Terminal commuters.
In other words, lots of Long Islanders are understandably used to getting on their train and exiting in Brooklyn, without having to transfer in possibly inclement weather and/or wait on a platform. Though the shuttles would be more frequent, the transfer time could make a trip longer.

The new platform is due in late 2021 and will include, among other things, a glass-enclosed waiting area, according to Newsday. It's all part of an expansion of service with East Side Access--also delayed--which will by 2022 deliver LIRR trains directly to Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan's Midtown East.

In response to commuter concerns, the LIRR is studying the issue, and may retain some one-seat rides. In a 3/27/19 editorial, Don't lose the one-seat LIRR ride to Brooklyn, Newsday praised the overall improvements at Jamaica but said some of the 137 weekday one-seat rides should remain.

So stay tuned.

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