Stadium Metro-North stop to open tomorrow

All is well: Joba OK, Yanks win 9th straight
2009 Draft: Bittle out with arm injury

An Unveiled Sign

A new Metro-North stop and the Bronx’s first transit addition in decades will open tomorrow morning. (Photo by Benjamin Kabak)

Tomorrow morning shortly before 6 a.m., a Grand Central-bound Metro-North train on the Hudson line will make a stop at Yankees-E. 153rd St. stop. It will be the first train with passengers to stop at this new station, and it will usher in an era of increased transit accessibility for Yankee fans from Westchester and Connecticut.

Yesterday, as part of my other blogging gig, I went up to the new station for its official dedication. Joining me at Grand Central for the ride up north were Jorge Posada, David Cone and Brian Cashman as well as one Michael Bloomberg.

The day was a congratulatory one for the MTA. They opened the new station at Yankee Stadium on time and on budget. It took just 24 months to build and should help reduce traffic volume in and around the South Bronx during Yankee games. “It’s another alternative to taking the subway here,” the Mayor said during the ceremony “And the more alternatives you give, the fewer people will drive.”

Click through, then, for more pictures and information about service to Yankee Stadium along three Metro-North lines.

Jorgie, Coney and Cashmoney

The trip up north started at Grand Central Terminal with a deadhead ride — a passenger-less train — to the new station. The new schedules claim it is a 16-minute ride from Grand Central to the Yankee Stadium stop, and they’re not kidding. It’s a fast, smooth ride with one stop at 125th St., and it’s far more comfortable than the 4 or D trains.

When we arrived at the station, the Yankees just stood there as city and MTA officials took over. The Mayor started off with a joke. While chatting with Brian Cashman in the VIP train car on the way up — I, by the way, was with the press in a different car — he offered to pitch for the Yanks. “I throw righty and not lefty,” he said. “They just don’t need another right-handed pitcher. So I guess I’m out of that job and will keep my old one.”


After that, though, it was all business. Bloomberg praised the MTA for realizing the three-decade-old dream of building a station at Yankee Stadium and in the South Bronx. He stressed how the station will improve the quality of life for not just Yankee fans but for residents of the polluted and congested neighborhood. “It’s not just for Yankee Stadium; it’s for the entire South Bronx,” he said while trumpeting his long-term goals of getting cars off the road in New York City.

After Bloomberg finished up, a spate of speakers followed him. Elliot Sander, the outgoing MTA CEO and Executive Director, MTA Chair Dale Hemmerdinger and Metro-North President Howard Permut gave the agency spiel. New Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., trumped the stadium’s impact on the Bronx.

Jorge, Cashman and the Cops

As for the details, the station itself is a 10,000-square-foot, fully ADA-accessible facility. Officials estimated up to 10,000 passengers per day for Yankee games, and if they reach that goal, traffic around the stadium should decrease significantly.

In terms of service, the station will see regular hourly service along the Hudson Line, but service will be increased significantly on game days. Trains from Grand Central will leave every 15-20 minutes, and either three or four additional trains from points north along the Hudson, New Haven and Harlem lines will pass through the station prior to the games. Anyone who lives near a Metro-North line east of the Hudson now has little reason to drive to a game.

The fare scheme is too complicated to explain in detail because it depends upon point of origination. In general, tickets to the station from points north will cost either 75 cents (off-peak) or $1 (peak) more than it does to get to Manhattan. From Grand Central to Yankee Stadium, peak tickets will be $6.50 and off-peak $5 until the fares go up next month. It’s certainly an expensive, if fast and comfortable, alternative to the subway.

Metro-North will also accept the $3.50 City Tickets good for weekend and holiday travel within the New York City limits, and all monthly passes will be honored as well. To beat fare-beaters, customers must have a valid ticket to exit the station before a game and to access the platforms afterward. (For more on the station, check out the MTA’s Take the Train to the Game page.)

In the end, it’s hard not to be excited about this station. It’s a big, modern structure just a five- to eight-minute walk away from the new Yankee Stadium. It should be popular for years to come, and it will open for business on Saturday. So if you’re off to see the Phillies play the Yanks on Saturday afternoon, take the train.

All is well: Joba OK, Yanks win 9th straight
2009 Draft: Bittle out with arm injury
  • Cam

    I live in Westchester and I plan on never driving my car to games again. I paid $19 to park in a garage on Wednesday. For less than that, I can drink on my way down, not sit in GW Bridge traffic, and not have to worry about my car getting dinged in the lot. Perfect scenario all around.

    • Jason @ IIATMS

      Agree 100% on all fronts. I look forward to never driving there again!

  • http::// MattB

    Meh – I’m still driving. Without traffic it’s about a 90 minute ride from CT for me. But if I were to take the Metro North, by the time I drove to a station, paid for parking, paid for a ticket, and caught a train it would take me just as long.

    I imagine it’s going to be a pain in the neck getting out of there at the end of the game as well.

    • Benjamin Kabak

      Without traffic it’s about a 90 minute ride from CT for me.

      Just out of curiosity, how often does that happen? Twice a season?

      Anyway, it’s a 10,000-square-foot mezzanine with numerous staircases and elevators. The platforms are wider than your typical Metro-North stop. It was designed to handle a spike in ridership. It probably won’t be a pain.

      You forgot to factor gas into your equation as well.

      • http::// MattB

        Actually, it’s not that bad. A little bit on the Hutch, but once I hit the Cross County I’m usually alright. Made it home in like 75 mins Monday night.

        I get decent gas mileage. All told between parking and gas it probably costs me $35 round trip. If I split that with 2 or 3 friends heading down it’s much cheaper than what we’d each pay taking the train.

        I probably will use it for Saturday afternoon game, then head into Manhattan afterwards.

      • LiveFromNewYork

        And the fun the crowd on the subway (now MetroNorth) can be especially after a win. Even waiting for the train (or to get UP on the platform) can be fun after a win.

  • Matt ACTY/BBD

    My using this train depends on if/when/where I have to switch from the New Haven line. It’s only a 30 minute drive for me, too. As more information comes, I’ll make a decision.

    • Benjamin Kabak

      I need to clarify something here because it seems that people either didn’t understand what I wrote or didn’t read it: If you live along the Hudson, New Haven or Harlem lines and are traveling to Yankee Stadium for a game, it is a one-seat, one-ticket ride.

      That means that all trains per the Metro-North schedule prior to and after games will be stopping at Yankee Stadium. To accomplish this, Metro-North is making use of a spur one mile east of the stadium that runs from the Hudson line to the New Haven and Harlem lines. You won’t have to transfer at Grand Central or 125th St.

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        Ben – The MTA website is a little unclear about that.

        • Benjamin Kabak

          Yeah. The MTA website is a little unclear about a lot of things. ;)

          Trust me on this one: I have a hard copy of the special gameday schedule for the Yankee Stadium stop. All three runs are running to and from the Stadium on days of games. Generally, there will be 3/4 trains before the game generally arriving up to 2.5-3 hours before first pitch. The schedules have three after per line as well with the last ones on the Harlem and New Haven lines leaving 45 minutes after the game ends.

          • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            Oh I’ll take your word on it, just pointing out why everyone commenting might seem a tad slow to you. When you go to the MTA website, click through the “Take the Train to the Game” stuff, and click on the schedule for the New Haven line to Yankee Stadium, you get this PDF:


            And the text on the page describing the new service makes it seem as though to get there, on weekdays and weeknights, passengers have to transfer at 125th.

            It’s a problem the MTA should remedy, quickly.

            • Benjamin Kabak

              No. I was wrong. I was confused. You’re right.

              • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                It’s STILL a very accessible system that people from the suburbs should use, but it’s not quite as simple as a direct-trip to get there on weekdays (just the one short transfer). It’s still a direct-trip home, though.

  • Tony

    Seems like a lot of hassle to use this from anything but the Hudson line. Anyone could have transferred to the 4 at 125th Street/GCT.

    Though it seems like a better deal on the way back up.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    I never understand people who drive to the Stadium. It works out very very rarely but when it doesn’t, it’s such a headache.

    • Joseph Pawlikowski

      I hear ya. When I used to live in Jersey it would take me 25 minutes from the end of the game to my driveway…if everything went perfectly. This entailed sprinting to the parking garage and hitting all the lights on Jerome Ave. That happened twice over 20 some-odd games in the 07 season.

    • Matt ACTY/BBD

      My only problem while driving is getting out of the garage. After that, I take Grand Concourse to the Hutch to the Merrit and it’s all good.

      • Matt H

        I drive, because coming from Rockland County, it’s a fucking hassle to get to the game.

        • The Lodge

          From Rockland I used to drive to T-Town, park and take the hudson line down to 125th and switch to the 4 from there. This is way more convenient than that now. Also, the GWB at $9 is practically the price of the fare.

          But the Increased train traffic on game days is the real win here.

    • Nady Nation

      This generalization is ridiculous. You don’t “understand” people who drive to the Stadium? How about if you live on Long Island? It takes me 45 minutes tops to get home (Nassau County) from the Stadium, whereas it would take an hour and a half to take the subway to Penn Station, and then take the LIRR back home. Whether or not it’s a good idea or not to drive to the game is completely dependent on where you live.

      • Joseph Pawlikowski

        “whereas it would take an hour and a half to take the subway to Penn Station”

        There’s no need to exaggerate. If you can’t get to Penn Station in a half hour, there’s something wrong.

        • UWS

          Seriously. How the hell does it take you 1.5 hours to get to Penn Station? Do you walk there all the way from the Stadium? Just take the B/D (25 minutes, tops), and walk one block over.

          • Nady Nation

            You didn’t finish reading my sentence. I said: “…it would take an hour and a half to take the subway to Penn Station, and then take the LIRR back home.”

            I meant the TOTAL TIME of my trip is doubled by taking mass transit instead of driving. Apologies if I didn’t word that clearly.

            • Moshe Mandel

              Yeah, I got you. I live on Long Island, and it was an hour and a half minimum. Half hour to Penn, and then an hour by LIRR if your timing is perfect. More often than not, you end up waiting half an hour for a train, and it takes even longer. I drive pretty much every time I go because if I dont, I rarely get him before midnight, and if it is a longer game, it is probably closer to 1.

          • Joseph Pawlikowski

            Or you could transfer to the A, which puts you right under Penn.

    • Ed

      I prefer the train, but, they suck from Jersey. If you go to a night game, you’re just barely catching the last train home after a 3 hour game. Get an extra innings game and you’re almost certainly missing the train. That’s where the appeal of driving is.

  • Matt H

    I just wish they ran some earlier trains down there…but all-in-all, this is a good thing.

  • Doug Q

    I am debating this, taking the train vs. driving while living in Stamford, Yes the traffic sucks, but I can BBQ once I get there. Thats Huge.

    • Matt H

      Gotta love the tailgate (with some brews I hope), especially in the summer.

    • Matt ACTY/BBD

      I live in Greenwich and if I leave early enough, the only traffic I get is right at the exit for the Stadium. Seems like this won’t be all that great for us on the New Haven line. Meh. As long as I’m going to the game, I don’t care how I get there.

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      Um… Alcohol? Isn’t the whole being able to drink thing a nice little perk of taking the train? Am I the only drunk around here?

  • Zack

    Coming from CT this is great, it cuts out probably 30+min of travel from having to go to harlem to catch the subway.

    • Tony

      That’s the thing… I don’t think it does. Unless I’m mistaken, the New Haven and Harlem lines require a transfer at 125th Street/Grand Central for weekday night games.

      It does look like there will be direct service on the weekends. Service details seem to be almost intentionally vague, and is a piece of crap. I would love some clarification.

      • Joe R

        I believe you are correct. Comming from CT we have to transfer at 125th which is another like 2 bucks for a shuttle to Yankee Stadium. I dont know, if I read the prices correctly, I think i’d like an extra 20minutes of traffic instead of paying $20+ per person for a train ticket.

      • A.D.

        Yeah you still have to transfer, but I believe the transfer is included & will be faster than the subway.

  • A.D.

    They opened the new station at Yankee Stadium on time and on budget.


    Otherwise I’ll probably save the ~$4 and still take the 4 from Grand Central

    • jsbrendog

      i think, and correct me if im wrong here ben, that this is the first ever mta p[roject to finish ontime and on budget.

  • UWS

    How can anyone see this as anything but a good thing? As long as you live reasonably near a Metro-North line, you can save yourself the hassle of having to find parking, are able to have a beer at the game, and it’s better for the environment. Epic win, as far as I can tell.

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      Yeah, seriously. People just love their cars. Surprising.

      Like I said above, the ability to drink would be enough for me to take the train. Then again… I might place more importance on that than other people.

      I grew up in CT, and I would have taken this train if it was available when I lived there. Apparently I’d be in the minority though.

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        PS: Everybody cares about the environment until it means they have to get out of their car. I’m with you, though.

  • DocBooch

    I live in Yonkers and can drive to the last stop on the 4, park for free and take the train for 2 bucks. I’ll save the fancy train for the rich folk.

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      Um… I don’t think you’re really the target audience for this train, anyway. It’s not about rich vs. poor, it’s about creating accessibility via public transit for people who didn’t have that accessibility. You already had accessibility.

  • mike

    Quick question guys

    I live in Stamford CT, if i take the train does it take me straight to the stadium or do i have to hop on a connector at 125th?


    • Kilgore Trout

      I think on weekends it will take you straight there, and on weeknights to 125th.

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      Looks like weekdays/weeknights, to get there, you have to transfer at 125th. Weeknights you’ll get a direct train home from the Stadium. Weekends you’ll get a direct train both getting there and getting home. Check out the schedule for yourself.

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        Just FYI, according to Ben, above, pre and post game trains will ALL stop at the Stadium. Either way, you’re in good shape.

  • Whizzo The Wize

    Whizzo appreciates fine reporting, and this story certainly qualifies.

    Thank you Benjamin.

  • Matt H

    Anyone else here from Rockland County, if so, how do you go down to the game?

  • Rebecca-Optimist Prime

    There’s a MetroNorth station that’s much closer to me than the Subway, but when the weather’s nice I like walking to the Subway.

    So it’s nice having the two options.

  • Kilgore Trout

    It’s going to feel good to catch a 12:26 train on Sunday and get to my seat right before the 1st pitch.

    • Matt H

      That’s if it’s running 100% on time…

      • Kilgore Trout

        Good point. The Hudson Line is delayed more than you would expect on weekends. Hopefully (doubtful) they’ll be keep games in mind when they schedule weekend track service.

        • Benjamin Kabak

          The weekend track service was mostly due to the construction of this station. Now that it’s open, the delays should end.

  • Benjamin Kabak

    Reposted from above:

    I need to clarify something here because it seems that people either didn’t understand what I wrote or didn’t read it: If you live along the Hudson, New Haven or Harlem lines and are traveling to Yankee Stadium for a game, it is a one-seat, one-ticket ride.

    That means that all trains per the Metro-North schedule prior to and after games will be stopping at Yankee Stadium. To accomplish this, Metro-North is making use of a spur one mile east of the stadium that runs from the Hudson line to the New Haven and Harlem lines. You won’t have to transfer at Grand Central or 125th St.

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      Ben – I said this above… The MTA website is less than clear about this topic. I think that’s probably where the confusion stems from.

    • CT Yanks Fan

      Ben – as several people mentioned, that’s not true on Weekday games on the way in. Have to take a regular train and get off at 125. It is true for weekends and post-weekday games.

      I am totally for this, just pointing out that it’s not one seat on the way in for NH/Harlem folks for what is the majority of games.

      • Benjamin Kabak

        Oh, oh oh. I see what people are saying. I was confused by the questions. It seems that the MTA is operating under the assumption that most people coming to the game are coming from Manhattan. It’s also a scheduling nightmare to be running trains via that spur in both directions at peak weeknight hours. My bad.

  • johnrocker

    I think we are missing something here, although i could be wrong.

    The Hudson line will stop at Yankee Stadium regularly, with extra trains before and after Yankee games.

    The New Haven line will normally bypass the stadium as they currently do. However, on game days, they are going to somehow redirect the train to the Yankees stadium station, giving you a one-seat ride.

    It is only on non game days that someone going to Yankee stadium would have to go to GCT to transfer to the hudson line.

    I live in Rockland and plan on taking the train from tarrytown. dont know if they will allow drinking on the train. they do have a bar car on the commuter trains, but not all… I bet they also want to avoid serving drunks thirsty after the 7th inning cutoff, and heading to their cars.

    • Benjamin Kabak

      I’ll post an update. The comment directly above yours has my explanation.

  • Ico-Jones

    I live on the Harlem line — first direct train home after a night game is 10:30. I know I’ll get stick for this, but I wish there were earlier direct trains. Going to the games with young ones and staying until 10:30 is a stretch.

    • Benjamin Kabak

      It could leave a little earlier than 10:30. The schedule notes that those train departure times are “subject to adjustment, based on the game ending time.” I guess they could make it leave earlier?

  • Pingback: Clarifying information on Metro-North schedules | River Avenue Blues

  • Aaron

    Just to clarify even more the situation on the Harlem and New Haven lines:

    Weekend games (any time of day)
    To game: Direct service
    From game: Direct service

    Weekday evening games (7:05)
    To game: Transfer at 125th St.
    From game: Direct service

    Weekday afternoon games (1:05)
    To game: Transfer at 125th St.
    From game: Transfer at 125th St.

    There is no other baseball stadium in the country with this high level of regional train service.

    10 of Major League Baseball’s 30 stadiums are within walking distance of a regional/intercity rail station, as follows:

    * Camden Yards to MARC’s Camden Station = 250 feet
    * Fenway Park to MBTA Commuter Rail’s Yawkey station = 535 feet
    * The Oakland A’s Coliseum to Amtrak’s Oakland Coliseum/Airport station = 850 feet
    * L.A. Angels’ Stadium to the Anaheim station shared by Metrolink and Amtrak = 900 feet
    * Yankee Stadium to Metro-North’s Yankees-E. 153rd St. station = 1,425 feet
    * The San Francisco Giants’ AT&T Park to Caltrain’s San Francisco terminal = 1,550 feet
    * Citi Field to the Long Island Rail Road’s Mets-Willets Point station = 1,565 feet
    * The Colorado Rockie’s Coors Field to the Denver Amtrak station = 1,775 feet
    * The Seattle Mariners’ Safeco Field to King Street Station in Downtown Seattle, served by Sounder and Amtrak = 2,160 feet
    * The Toronto Blue Jays’ Rogers Centre to Toronto Union Station served by GO Transit, VIA, and Amtrak = 2,185 feet

    (Also worth noting: Metra’s Southwest Service and Rock Island District tracks go right by the White Sox’ U.S. Cellular Field, but there is no station there. Also there are tracks extending beyond Coaster’s San Diego terminal toward the Padres’ Petco Park, but again, no station.)

    Even though there are 10 stadiums with rail access, not all of these offer convenient service to the game. First of all, Amtrak’s Denver station is served by one train a day in each direction (the California Zephyr). When you eliminate that stadium/station combo, you are left with 9. From what I could tell by the online schedules, only Metro-North and the LIRR operate special trains specifically for baseball fans. In addition, MBTA Commuter Rail has a weekday train that makes a special stop at Yawkey on game nights. Beyond those three, I could not find any other railroads that operate special trains or make special stops for baseball fans. That does not mean that fans can’t still use the normal service to get to the games, if the schedules allow.

    And that can be hit-or-miss. Despite having the shortest distance between stadium and station, Orioles fans can’t get to a weekday game by MARC train. They can’t get home from a weeknight game using MARC, and there is no service on weekends. The Mariners and the A’s fans both have between one and a half dozen trains to and from afternoon games, but won’t get service home from night games. Angels fans will have one or two trains to and from any game using Amtrak, but don’t get any Metrolink trains from a night game, to a weekday afternoon game, or to or from a weekend game. Red Sox fans have at least two trains to and from any game along the Framingham/Worcester Line. San Francisco Giants fans have frequent service to all weekday/night games and from weekday afternoon games, but had better catch the 10:40 p.m. train unless they want to wait for the last train of the night, at midnight. They also have hourly service to and from weekend games. Blue Jays fans have at least hourly service to and from all games along the Lakeshore East and Lakeshore West lines, but no service on the other five GO Transit lines except for departures from weekday afternoon games. The LIRR offers terrific service to and from all Mets games no matter the time of day or night, but if your destination is along any branch other than the Port Washington, you need to change at Woodside (and the LIRR stops extra trains there for that as well).

    All of which is to say: the level of service that Metro-North is providing to this new station — the frequency, the number of destinations, the number of lines served with one-seat rides and the square miles of territory those lines cover — is unsurpassed on this continent.

  • DIB

    I’m a partial plan person driving down from Hartford ~ 10 times per season. Since crowds started increasing in the mid-90’s, I drive and park near the top of the 4 or the D and take the subway right to the Stadium. I park on the street for free and have never had more than a 5 minute walk to either the 206/Bainbridge stop or the Woodlawn stop. It is zero stress; when the game is over, very few are headed northbound so no crowding. And both stops are less than a 2 minute drive to the BRP or Deegan northbound. In over 20 years of doing this, I’ve never had a problem with my car or anyone, even when coming home from a game after midnight.