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LIRR rolls out Super Bowl week strategy

The LIRR station in Hicksville is pictured. (Dec.

The LIRR station in Hicksville is pictured. (Dec. 6, 2013) Credit: Barry Sloan

Long Island Rail Road commuters should expect to see some new faces on their train with the opening of Super Bowl Boulevard Wednesday, but LIRR officials say there's enough room for everyone.

The LIRR is adding 16 daily trains -- 11 westbound and five eastbound -- through Friday to accommodate the 13-block-long football fan paradise that originates at 34th Street and Broadway, near Penn Station.

And although Super Bowl organizers expect many of the 400,000 people visiting the metropolitan area this week to stop by Super Bowl Boulevard, LIRR officials say regular train riders shouldn't worry.

"We anticipate that people going to Super Bowl Boulevard are going to be off-peak, primarily," LIRR customer service vice president Joseph Calderone said. "We think we'll have sufficient capacity."

The LIRR is also adding three westbound and three eastbound trains this weekend. Although the LIRR is selling a combination ticket for riders taking New Jersey Transit to get to MetLife Stadium, railroad officials said they don't expect to help transport many fans to the game.

Still, the LIRR said it is stepping up services at Penn, including adding personnel and dozens of signs to help direct customers.

"On Super Bowl Sunday, people will be moving through Penn, even if they're not taking the Long Island Rail Road to get into Penn Station," Calderone said. "So we're going to be there to help them navigate."

Organizers have dubbed Sunday's game the first "Mass Transit Super Bowl" because of the large number of fans expected to arrive at MetLife Stadium via NJ Transit trains or coach buses. Fewer than 13,000 parking spots -- starting at $150 -- will be available for fans coming by car.

"We are strongly encouraging people to take the bus or the train to the game on Sunday, if they're lucky enough to have a ticket," Super Bowl Host Committee president and chief executive Alfred Kelly said. "It's safe. It's efficient. It's the best way to go if somebody wants to party."

New York Sports