All Aboard MTA LIRR Trains to Belmont Park starting today!
They’re off! MTA Long Island Rail Road is running train service to Belmont Park for the rest of the thoroughbred-racing season at New York’s most famous racetrack, including the 141st running of the Belmont Stakes.
Starting today, “Belmont Special” package tickets go on sale covering rail transportation and a $1 discount off the regular $2 grandstand admission to the track. Current fares to Belmont will remain in effect through June 16. On June 17, new fares will go into effect.
The LIRR will provide extra train service for the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, June 6 when it operates 18 trains to Belmont, most direct from Penn Station beginning at 9:59 AM. There will also be frequent westbound service back to Jamaica and Penn Station starting at 4:06 PM and continuing until 9 PM. The $1 off grandstand admission will not apply for Stakes Day.
Last year, an estimated 20,000 passengers rode the LIRR to Belmont Park for the Belmont Stakes.
"Belmont Park is one of the crown jewels of New York State's racing industry so we are delighted that the package of aid we put together for the MTA has enabled the LIRR to resume service to this Nassau County landmark," said Governor David A. Paterson.
"Traveling to and from Belmont via the LIRR is the easiest and greenest way to get to this beautiful and historic track, just 36 minutes from Manhattan," said LIRR President Helena Williams, who also is serving as interim MTA Executive Director and CEO. "The LIRR has been providing service to Belmont since it opened in 1905. We're delighted that we are able to resume service once again, especially in time to serve customers for the big race on June 6th."
"The restoration of Belmont Park service is tremendous news for all racing fans," said New York State Racing and Wagering Board Chairman John D. Sabini. "Governor David Paterson delivered on behalf of all transit riders by driving more funding to the MTA when it really mattered. Having the LIRR service restored will be a boost for the Belmont meet at a time when enthusiasm is perking up across the nation for what I expect will be a very exciting Belmont Stakes."
“This is great news for the many people who rely on the LIRR to get to Belmont Park," said Hal Handel, executive vice president and chief operating officer for The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) "We would like to thank the MTA for recognizing the historical significance of the 'Belmont Special' and its importance to New York racing fans. In addition, we are very appreciative of the support shown by Senators Malcolm A. Smith and Craig M. Johnson, along with Assemblyman Tom Alfano.”
Initially, budget constraints forced the Railroad to curtail Belmont service this season. But after Governor David Paterson and the state Legislature agreed on a plan to provide more funding for the region’s mass transportation system, the MTA Board of Directors unanimously approved the restoration of service to the racetrack.
Racing for spring-summer season at Belmont Park will run through July 26. Tickets for the “Belmont Special” can be purchased at LIRR stations in advance or on the day of the trip. The special package ticket to Belmont is not available for travel from stations on the Port Washington Branch.
Weekly and monthly ticket holders can use their tickets for travel to Jamaica and need only purchase a $8.00 round-trip package ticket (through June 16), $9.00 as of June 17 at an LIRR station prior to boarding the Belmont Special to cover the fare between Belmont Park and Jamaica. Round-trip tickets are not sold on-board trains. One-way tickets for travel between Jamaica and Belmont, sold on trains to use in conjunction with a monthly or weekly ticket, are $9.00 (through June 16), $11 as of June 17. A one-way ticket from Jamaica to Belmont, purchased at an LIRR station to use in conjunction with a monthly or weekly ticket, is $5.00 (through June 16), $6.00 as of June 17.
Belmont Package tickets are also available at LIRR Touch Screen ticket machines at stations – just press the “Getaways/Packages” button on the first screen; then select “Belmont Park.” Payment can be made with cash, ATM/Debit or Credit Cards. The ticket office at Belmont is closed and there are no ticket machines at Belmont.
To avoid higher on-board fares and save time, customers should purchase round-trip tickets in advance. (Please note: CityTicket is not valid for travel to or from Belmont Park.)
For further travel information, racing fans can contact the LIRR's 24-hour Travel Information Center in Suffolk County at 631-231-LIRR, in Nassau County at 516-822-LIRR or in New York City at 718-217-LIRR for schedule information. The Travel Information Center's TDD telephone number for the hearing impaired is 718-558-3022.
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