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Long IslandTransportation

LIRR weekend alcohol ban begins Friday

People walk by a beer and food vendor

People walk by a beer and food vendor at New York's Penn Station. (April 23, 2012) Credit: Craig Ruttle

The Long Island Rail Road's weekend ban on alcohol begins Friday night at midnight, and the commuter service is reminding customers that it will increase police presence at station platforms to help enforce the restriction.

The ban on alcohol is systemwide for two five-hour periods on weekends, spokesman Sam Zambuto said yesterday.

From midnight tonight to 5 a.m. Saturday, and again from midnight Saturday to 5 a.m. Sunday, alcoholic beverages -- whether in open or closed containers -- will not be allowed on trains and platforms, the LIRR said.

The ban follows two assaults on train crew members in March, according to Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials.

While the ban is considered a pilot program, the transportation agency did not specify when or if it would end.

LIRR officials said signs will be posted throughout Penn Station notifying customers of the ban and a "public information/education component" will be undertaken before it starts.

Announcements explaining the prohibitions will be made at Penn Station, and extra MTA police officers will be positioned at platforms to check passengers for alcohol.

Riders found carrying alcoholic beverages will not be allowed to board trains with the drinks.

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