MTA LIRR and Metro-North riders are now be prohibited from smoking on outdoor platform, ticketing and boarding areas of terminals and stations – including Lindenhurst on the Babylon line – as New York State’s new smoking ban goes into effect beginning November 13.
"We supported the legislation and appreciated Governor Cuomo signing into law the in outdoor locations at LIRR stations," LIRR President Helena Williams said in a statement on the MTA website.
"The new law provides positive impacts for health and safety, as well as a reduction of the potential for track fires. The majority of our customers and employees are eagerly awaiting a smoke-free environment at our outdoor areas," she said.
The current rules prohibit smoking on any train and in any indoor area within a terminal or station, according to the LIRR statement.
The new state law extends the ban on smoking to outdoors areas, thereby providing the MTA Police with the authority to enforce the new law, the LIRR further noted.
All customers are expected to comply.
However, MTA Police will be issuing warnings to violators rather than summonses during a grace period while an education campaign gets underway, both railroads amend their rules of conduct, and those rules are approved by the MTA Board.
To help get the word out and raise awareness about the new ban, the LIRR and Metro-North are conducting customer education campaigns to raise awareness that'll include seat drops on trains, posters in stations, customer e-mail alerts and postings on Twitter and Facebook, as well as a celebrity public service announcements by a roster of famous New Yorkers.
Permanent signage will also be installed at all LIRR stations in New York City, Suffolk and Nassau Counties and New York City, and all Metro-North stations in New York City, Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Orange and Dutchess Counties. (Metro-North stations in Connecticut are not subject to the new law.)
The new schedule brings with it some temporary schedule adjustments for off-peak trains traveling to and from Long Beach that will allow the LIRR to begin prep work for the coming installation of .
The new timetables also return service on the Huntington-Port Jefferson Branch and returns the Montauk Branch to normal schedules, following the completion of track work on both branches. (However, a $26.2 million rehabilitation of three LIRR bridges on the East End is getting underway.)
Whenever possible, said the LIRR, it’ll schedule maintenance work during off-peak periods, such as midday during the week and on weekends, to minimize the impact on most customers who use the railroad during the morning and evening rush hours to get to and from work.
The agency also said that riders using the LIRR on the branches affected by the maintenance and repair work should allow extra travel time when planning a trip.
For detailed information on all of the schedule and service changes, customers are advised to pick up a copy of the new November 7 to December 11 timetables for their station or branch at LIRR stations and terminals.
Customers could also contact the LIRR's Travel Information Center at 718-217-5477 (LIRR). Hearing-impaired customers could use their preferred relay service provider or the free 711 relay to reach LIRR at 718-217-5477.