A file photo of an LIRR train arriving at a...

A file photo of an LIRR train arriving at a station. Credit: Kevin P Coughlin

Long Island Rail Road riders soon won't have to wait quite as long for a handful of trains.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials Thursday announced plans to add weekend service to one LIRR station and restore service to other lines as part of a systemwide improvement plan.

The announcement comes nearly two years after the MTA made deep service cuts, and ahead of the agency's plan to raise fares next year. A fare increase went into effect across the MTA in 2011, including LIRR ticket price hikes of as much as 9.4 percent.

The LIRR service changes include adding trains to the Ronkonkoma branch on the weekends and on weekday mornings. Some service on the Montauk, Port Jefferson and Long Beach branches is to be restored.

Overall, the agency plans to add or extend service on nearly 40 buses, subways and commuter rail lines and is able to do so through cost-cutting and increased revenues, officials said.

"The service investments we are announcing today will give our customers more connections to where they want to go, more options on nights and weekends, and more reason to stay out of their cars and take buses, subways and commuter trains instead," agency chairman Joseph Lhota said at a news conference Thursday.

In 2010, the MTA implemented $93 million in service cuts amid a budget crisis. The additions and restorations announced Thursday represent $29.5 million -- less than a third of what had been cut.

The service changes were made possible, in part, because of the agency's "stable" finances and an increased number of people using public transit, Lhota said.

"Subway ridership has reached levels not seen since the 1950s, while commuter train ridership is approaching all-time records," he said.

Lhota would not discuss how much fares for bus, subway and commuter rail travel would rise in 2013, other than to say there will be public hearings on the issue in November. The agency expects to raise $450 million a year through the fare increases.

The LIRR service changes will be phased in between November and March.

New York City riders should expect to see five additional bus routes and additional midday, night or weekend service on 11 other bus routes, as well as an extension of 13 existing bus lines. The MTA is also making the G train to Church Avenue in Brooklyn permanent.

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