1. Home
  2. MTA Accessibility

LIRR Care Program

Updated Feb 17, 2021
The LIRR Care Program is available for customers with mobility limitations requesting assistance to board and/or exit Long Island Rail Road trains.

How to participate

Call 718-547-7227 at least two hours before the scheduled departure time of your train. Call service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including weekends and holidays. Please be prepared to provide the LIRR Care Representative with:

  • Your departing station
  • The time you plan to travel
  • Your destination

Train crews will know about your itinerary and will be prepared to provide assistance, including placing a bridge plate between the train and platform.

Real-time assistance is available as well, from 6 a.m.-10 p.m. daily, for customers beginning their travel from Penn Station, Atlantic Terminal or Jamaica Station. For real-time assistance, please provide at least 15 minutes advance notice of your train’s scheduled departure time.

At Penn Station, visit the Customer Service Office. At Jamaica Station and Atlantic Terminal, visit the Ticket Office. Customer Service Ambassadors are also available at all three locations.

Frequently asked questions

How can I confirm whether my LIRR station is accessible?

The LIRR has 108 accessible stations throughout our system. To confirm whether a the station is accessible, see our list.

How can I find out if an escalator/elevator is out of service?

Check real-time elevator and escalator status here.

Is there a location on the platform where I should wait for the train?

Riders using a wheelchair should remain at least five feet (if possible) from the platform's edge when waiting for a train, and position their wheelchair with the brakes locked and wheels parallel to the track. Unless directed otherwise by an LIRR Care Representative, it is generally best to wait in the middle of the platform because cars at either end of the train may be closed during certain times or may not line up with platforms at certain stations. Many LIRR station platforms have a two-foot-wide yellow tactile edge-warning strips. Stay behind these strips until it is time to board the train.

I have a condition that makes it difficult to board and exit the train, but I don’t use a wheeled mobility device. Can I request to use a bridge plate?

Yes! Follow the instructions on this page to let us know you need assistance.

My aide is traveling with me. Do I need to purchase a ticket for my personal care attendant?

Personal Care Attendants (PCAs, i.e., people employed to assist individuals with disabilities) are eligible to ride commuter railroads free when accompanying a passenger with a disability. Where required, the PCA must carry identification that shows that he or she is employed by an agency that provides services to people with disabilities.

How can I board and exit the train on my own if I use a wheelchair?

When boarding or leaving a train in a wheelchair, back on and off, so that the larger rear wheels lead. This makes it less likely that the small front wheels will get caught in the gap between the platform edge and the train. Whenever the gap or the difference in height between the train and the station is too large, ask the train crew to set a bridge plate in place to span the gap.

I’m boarding a train at Jamaica Station. How can I get assistance?

Please visit the Ticket Office or ask an LIRR Customer Service Ambassador for assistance. Ambassadors are available from 6 a.m.-10 p.m. daily, and can be easily identified by their orange vests.

For real-time assistance, please provide at least 15 minutes advance notice of your train’s scheduled departure time.

During the overnight period, Jamaica Station elevators provide customers with access to the LIRR portal mezzanine and platforms and to the subway. At street level, just outside the LIRR Ticket Office, a bank of three elevators provides access up to the Jamaica Station portal mezzanine or down for E/J/Z subway service. The portal mezzanine has five elevators that provide access to each of the LIRR's platforms at Jamaica. The mezzanine also serves as a path to the AirTrain JFK terminal.

I’m boarding a train at Atlantic Terminal. How can I get assistance?

Please visit the Ticket Office or ask an LIRR Customer Service Ambassador for assistance. Ambassadors are available from 6 a.m.-10 p.m., daily, and can be easily identified by their orange vests.

For real-time assistance, please provide at least 15 minutes advance notice of your train’s scheduled departure time.

During the overnight period, elevator service provides customers with access between the street and platform levels. To reach the elevator while inside Atlantic Terminal, go to the west end of Track 1. The elevator is at the end of the ramp. To reach the elevator from the street, go to Hanson Place, around the corner from the entrance on Flatbush Avenue.

Once onboard the train, where should I position myself?

Many MTA commuter rail cars have designated seating for individuals with disabilities and senior citizens, as well as special wheelchair areas where the seats fold up to provide adequate floor space. Please station your wheelchair in the special area or position it in the vestibule area with wheels locked.