Starting Monday and continuing through mid-May, the LIRR will replace...

Starting Monday and continuing through mid-May, the LIRR will replace trains with buses east of Ronkonkoma because of track work between the hamlet and Greenport. Credit: Newsday/Steve Pfost

Starting Monday and continuing through mid-May, the LIRR will replace trains with buses east of Ronkonkoma because of track work between the hamlet and Greenport.

The free shuttle buses, on the same route and making stops as scheduled at Long Island Rail Road stations on the branch, will be available from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on weekdays. Customers are urged to check the schedules for when buses arrive and depart.

Eastbound customers will transfer at Ronkonkoma for buses to Medford, Yaphank, Riverhead, Mattituck, Southold and Greenport.

Westbound customers can take buses at each station and transfer at Ronkonkoma for train service. Schedules are posted online in the Ronkonkoma Branch timetable.

Work crews Monday are set to begin rail replacement and grade crossing renewal between Ronkonkoma and Riverhead, part of systemwide trackwork that will also eliminate some trains with low ridership. After events at Madison Square Garden, two new trains will operate out of Penn Station. The trains are part of newly added late-night service since last fall.

“The LIRR extensively studied the new ridership patterns brought on by the new East Side terminal as well as customer feedback to create updated timetables that meet both operational and ridership needs,” said acting LIRR President Rob Free in a statement. “The new schedules directly address some customer requests; more comfortable trips home following events at MSG.”

Most trains in general will leave Penn Station up to five minutes earlier or later. Stops at Woodside, Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, and St. Albans have also changed.

Other changes because of low ridership include eliminating the 7:32 p.m. train from Penn Station to Wantagh, the 4:21 p.m. train from Penn Station to Farmingdale and the 4:57 p.m. train from Grand Central to Central Islip.

Weekend service at Bellmore, Massapequa, and Amityville will be reduced to two trains per hour.

The LIRR is also adding a new train from Island Park to Brooklyn from 7:48 a.m. making all stops to Atlantic Terminal. The 5:20 p.m. train from Far Rockaway will also run to Atlantic Terminal.

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Animal cruelty case update … Riverhead farmland preservation … LIRR IOU invoices Credit: Newsday

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