QUEENS — Jamaica commuters can expect major changes at their bustling transit hub, which will soon get a multi-million dollar makeover, increasing its capacity and modernizing its aging infrastructure, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced.
In addition, the Hicksville LIRR station will also undergo a $121 million modernization, Cuomo said. Both stations are receiving money from the MTA’s $27 Billion Capital Program.
"Revamping these two heavily trafficked transportation hubs will provide better, faster and more reliable train service for Long Island Rail Road riders," Governor Cuomo said in a statement.
The makeover is one of many new projects planned for downtown Jamaica, which has been going through numerous changes in recent years.
The Jamaica station, which was built in 1913 and has since served as the LIRR’s main transfer point, is also getting nearly $8 million in state money for upgrades expected to make it safer and easier to navigate for drivers and pedestrians, as well as to attract more investors and developers to the area, officials said.
"Time and time again, transportation investment has a ripple effect of progress and economic growth on the surrounding community," Cuomo added.
The new platform and tracks will allow the LIRR to reroute trains more easily and to increase service between Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn and Jamaica Station, frequently used by people going to games and events at the Barclays Center.
The new platform, which is slated to open by the end of 2019, will feature glass-enclosed, heated waiting areas, as well as Wi-Fi and USB charging stations, according to the MTA.
New York-based artist James Little will also create colorful art glass installations on the station’s westerly bridge, as well as on the stairs leading from the new station platform to the AirTrain mezzanine.
The makeover will be carried out as part of the Jamaica Capacity Improvements initiative, which began in 2010 with a projected investment of $442 million by the end of 2019, Cuomo said.