The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced on December 19, 2022 that the Long Island Rail Road will introduce special Grand Central Direct service to Grand Central Madison beginning when facility systems testing is complete, to enable the public to begin exploring the new terminal and its route while the LIRR continues to maintain full existing schedules to Penn Station. Grand Central Direct trains will operate between Grand Central Madison and Jamaica every 30 minutes during middays and on weekends, and hourly during weekday rush periods. They will be overlaid as additions to the LIRR’s existing timetables to ensure there are no changes to existing trains to Penn Station and other destinations.
In addition, the MTA announced that a new “Combo Ticket” will be introduced -- a single ticket enabling customers to travel on both the LIRR andd Metro North between Long Island, Manhattan’s northern suburbs and Connecticut all with one fare.
The Combo Ticket will enable riders to buy a Long Island Rail Road ticket in Port Jefferson for a trip to Port Chester or a Metro-North ticket in Poughkeepsie for a trip to Montauk. Riders choose their origination station with Grand Central as their destination and pay the regular fare plus a flat rate of eight dollars for a continuing trip to any destination on the other railroad.