Ask the MTA | Gameday service, 181st Street escalators and reduced fare MetroCards

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons

amNewYork Metro, in conjunction with the MTA, present “Ask the MTA,” a column where MTA officials answer your questions about transit service in New York City. If you have a question for the MTA about subways, buses, commuter rails and more, email askthemta[@]amny.com.

Q: Now that baseball season has started, is there a calendar where I can find dates and times as to when the MTA will be running special trains to get to the ballpark? — Tyrell J., Brownsville

A: Any time the Mets or Yankees play at home, Metro-North, LIRR and subways run additional trains to accommodate fans. 

Metro-North operates special “Yankee Clipper” service to provide a one-seat ride from the Harlem and New Haven lines to Yankee Stadium for all evening and weekend home games. Additionally, there are shuttle trains for all evening and weekend games between Grand Central Terminal, Harlem-125th St and Yankees-E 153rd St Stations. Shuttles also operate after weekday day games from Yankees-E 153rd St to Harlem-125th St and Grand Central.

Many Hudson Line trains stop at Yankees-E. 153rd Street normally, and many express trains to and from Croton-Harmon and Poughkeepsie make a stop at the stadium on game days. For afternoon games customers can take any Hudson Line train to the game and will be accommodated by shuttle service afterwards. 

As for connections to Citi Field, the LIRR provides direct service to the Mets-Willets Point station all season long via the Port Washington Branch, just a 19-minute ride from Penn Station. Fans traveling from Long Island on other branches can reach Citi Field by changing at Woodside, just a five-minute ride from the stadium. New York City Transit subways also operate extra express service after games at both ballparks to get fans home quickly.

No matter where you’re going, the best way to plan your trip on either of the commuter railroads is through our TrainTime app, which includes schedule and train-tracking information for both railroads, along with the ticket-buying functionality of MTA eTix. – Cathy Rinaldi, Metro-North Railroad President, and Long Island Rail Road Interim President

Q: What’s the latest on the escalator outage at the 181 St Station on the A line? Any chance they could reopen sooner? — Randy H., Inwood

A: Good news: Brand-new escalators at 181 St are now in the testing phase and barring any issues could be placed into service in the coming days. It’s the latest step to modernize this station. We’ve already replaced existing elevators from the street level to the mezzanine and are also in the process of adding another two elevators that go down to the platform to make the station fully ADA accessible. There will continue to be some impact to customers as we complete this work, including station closures for the next two weekends. At the end of it, riders will enjoy the modern, accessible 181 St Station they deserve. – Jamie Torres-Springer, MTA Construction and Development President

Q: With talks about a possible fare increase, how can I sign up for the reduced fare MetroCard program? Who is eligible? — Mykeisha R., Harlem

A: Reduced fare MetroCards are available for riders who are 65 or older or have a qualifying disability. The discounted rate is half the base fare – $1.35 for subways and local buses. Reduced fares are also available on express buses anytime except weekday rush hours from 6-10 a.m. and 3-7 p.m.

Applying for the program is free, and you can complete the process online, by mail, or in person at a Mobile Sales Van or our Customer Service Center, which is located at 3 Stone Street in Lower Manhattan. Photo ID is required for verification. We have forms, assistance, and free photography available if needed. 

If you are younger than 65, the City has its own Fair Fares program that provides half-priced MetroCards to low-income New Yorkers. – Shanifah Rieara, MTA Chief Customer Officer