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Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Prendergast and MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) President Helena Williams yesterday rededicated the 100-year-old Jamaica Station, which serves as the transfer point for 10 of LIRR's 11 branches.The station's historic role has made commuting between Long Island and New York City possible for generations of LIRR riders, MTA officials said in a press release.The station opened in 1913 as part of newly elevated right of way in the Queens, N.Y., neighborhood known as Jamaica, that replaced street-level grade crossings for the first time.The station is among the best known landmarks in Queens and is home to the oldest railroad in the United States still operating under its original name, MTA officials said. Each weekday, LIRR operates 732 trains and serves about 300,000 riders traveling through Jamaica twice a day.The station will continue to play a strategic role in the future of mass transit in the region, Prendergast said."As the Long Island Rail Road looks to the future, Jamaica Station will remain its nerve center and our Jamaica Capacity Improvements Project will mean more than $300 million in infrastructure upgrades to keep the LIRR running smoothly," he said.The upgrades are part of the capacity improvement project's first phase, which will involve design and construction in support of East Side Access, the new path to Manhattan that will bring LIRR riders to Grand Central Terminal and East Midtown for the first time, MTA officials said.
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