By Jonathan Sperling
The newest renovated Long Island Rail Road station is open for business in Queens.
Local officials officially cut the ribbon on the newly rebuilt and reconfigured Flushing-Main Street station on Thursday, Oct. 18, providing some much-needed TLC to a major transit fixture of Eastern Queens.
The new station features two elevators — one on the eastbound platform and the other on the westbound platform — as well as a new street-level ticket office, and a new set of entranceways connecting the platforms directly to Flushing main hub, Main Street.
“We are pleased to be able to make this station fully accessible to all our customers, in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, thanks to the addition of two new elevators,” LIRR President Phil Eng said. “We are also pleased that our station will now be easier to reach from the heart of the Flushing community. We hope our improvements will transform a station that was inaccessible and mostly hidden from public view into an inviting and prominent community landmark. We are continuously working to make the LIRR accessible to all, and this is an important achievement in that campaign.”
Construction on the project, which began in 2016 and cost $24.6 million, provided an added level of accessibility to a station that had been built in 1913 and not been renovated since 1958. In its previous configuration, the station’s westbound platform was only accessible via a narrow staircase in an alley between buildings. The eastbound platform led out to Main Street but was also narrow. Neither platform featured an elevator.
The station’s one-story ticket office, located at the eastbound entrance, did not conform with Americans With Disabilities Act guidelines and was demolished. The renovated station remedies this with a new ticket office adjacent to the primary westbound entrance, as well as an open plaza for future retail kiosks, new staircases, platform shelters, railings, LED lighting, new signage, USB charge ports, an upgraded public-address system with clearer audio quality and yellow tactile platform edge strips.
“Today’s grand re-opening of the LIRR Flushing-Main Street Station is a major milestone for Flushing and for all of Queens. This critical transportation center is now accessible to everyone who travels to and from Flushing, a vibrant and fast-growing community that will benefit from the upgrade to a first-class, fully accessible rail station,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz in a statement. “The station’s new entryway will also enhance the traveling experience of LIRR riders and will be an attractive and welcome addition to the neighborhood.”
With more than 2,200 people using the station on an average weekday, the Flushing-Main Street station is the LIRR network’s 50th-busiest station out of 124 total stations. It is the ninth-busiest station in Queens.