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24 April 2009

Belmont LIRR Plans Finalized

Beginning on Wednesday, April 29, The New York Racing Association, Inc. will provide free shuttle bus service between Belmont Park and the Queens Village station of the Long Island Rail Road for its patrons affected by the suspension of the “Belmont Special” by the Metropolitan Transit Authority.

“We remain optimistic that train service to Belmont Park will be restored,” said Kenneth Cook, NYRA’s Vice-President of Security. “In the interim, in order to fill the gap left by government cuts, shuttle service is a way to accommodate those who depended on the train to bring them directly to Belmont Park.”

Bus service to Belmont Park remains unaffected by the cuts and fans may take either the Q2 or the Q110 from Jamaica directly into the track. Those using a Metrocard can get a free transfer from the subway to the bus or between buses.

The shuttles will depart the corner of Springfield Boulevard and Jamaica Avenue at 12:30 p.m., while return service will be provided 15 minutes after the last live race. There will be drop-off and pick-up points at both the clubhouse and grandstand entrances at Belmont Park.

Until the restoration of regular train service to Belmont Park, which was eliminated as part of a series of budget cuts and proposed fare hikes by the MTA, the shuttles will operate daily except for June 6, Belmont Stakes Day, and Saturday, May 30. On those days, passengers can board the LIRR Belmont Park Special at Penn Station, Woodside or Jamaica.

“We remain willing to work with the MTA and the LIRR,” said Cook. “Conversations are on-going in Albany and we are hopeful this will be a temporary measure until rail service resumes on a regular basis.”

Home of the $1 million Belmont Stakes, Belmont Park’s 64-day spring/summer meet runs through Sunday, July 26.

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