The Long Island Rail Road’s platform-level bar carts are leaving the station as the last call comes March 27 for commuters who order last-second adult beverages before boarding their evening rush-hour trains.
Riders will still be able to purchase beer, wine and mixed drinks in Penn Station and imbibe while riding the rails, but once the bar carts dry up, gone will be the last vestige of the LIRR’s bar cars that were phased out in the 1980s. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority confirmed the news, which was first reported by the New York Post.
“This service was subject to various reviews that led us to conclude that it’s not our core competency and that we should stay focused on providing safe and reliable transportation,” MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan said in a statement. “Other retailers meet this market.”
The MTA has operated eight bar carts on platforms for decades — five in Penn and one each at the Jamaica, Atlantic Terminal and Hunterspoint Avenue stations. The MTA reportedly put Grand Central Station’s track-side bar carts on ice last year following an audit of the cash-only operations.
The latest move comes after the LIRR banned booze on midnight to 5 a.m. on Friday and Saturday night trains beginning in 2012.
According to more than 100 Twitter users that took the unofficial @LIRRstats poll, 37 percent said they’re “very sad” about the news, 19 percent had no opinion, 17 percent were glad the carts are going away and 27 percent said: “I’ll just buy elsewhere.”
“I love my job,” one of the bartenders told The Post. “I’m a people person. And now I’m going to be cleaning train cars.”
Riders were not pleased to hear the LIRR’s platform bar cart days have reached the end of the line.
“That’s not good,” one rider told WABC-TV before chugging a can of Budweiser. “It’s the one thing I enjoy coming to this miserable concrete jungle.”