Aug. 22, 2023 By Bill Parry
Officials from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) helped kickoff U.S. Open Fan Week on Aug. 21 at Corona Yard adjacent to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, where the main draw gets underway from Monday, Aug. 28, and will run through Sunday, Sept. 10.
The MTA will increase service on the 7 subway line and the Long Island Rail Road to provide transit options to the more than 880,000 who are expected to attend Fan Week and the 2023 U.S. Open over the next three weeks.
“Every year, hundreds of thousands of fans take public transit to get in on the action at the U.S. Open,” MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said. “It’s the most cost-efficient way of getting out to the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center to watch the world’s best players battle it out on the courts. Whether you’re taking the bus, subway or railroad, the MTA is proud to support this iconic New York event.”
The Mets-Willets Point station serves the U.S. Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Fans can always take either the local or the express to reach the Mets-Willets Point station. After the last match at Arthur Ashe Stadium starting Friday, Aug. 25, New York City Transit will run five additional trains to supplement regularly scheduled service. Supplemental trains will run express from Mets-Willets Point to 74th St-Broadway and then make all local stops to 34 St-Hudson Yards.
“The 7 train is about as synonymous with the U.S. Open as a Carlos Alcaraz ace,” NYC Transit President Richard Davey said. “Mass transit makes this annual NYC tradition possible, carrying thousands of tennis fans to and from Mets-Willets Point throughout the tournament, and we will have additional trains staged for peak periods after evening matches. The fastest, most convenient way to get to and from the action is by taking transit.”
For the first time, customers have two options to travel from Manhattan to Willets Point with the opening of Grand Central Madison. The LIRR provides direct service to Willets Point station via the Port Washington Branch, a 19-minute ride from Penn Station or Grand Central. The USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center is 17 minutes from Great Neck and 27 minutes from Port Washington.
Fans traveling from Long Island on other branches can reach the U.S. Open by changing trains at Woodside, which is a five-minute ride. Beginning Tuesday, Aug. 22, through Friday, Sept. 8, the LIRR will be adding a Mets-Willets Point stop to three morning peak Port Washington trains within the 8 o’clock hour to supplement service to U.S. Open events. After 9 a.m. all westbound Port Washington trains already have a scheduled Mets-Willets Point stop, as do all weekend trains.
“The LIRR makes it easy to get to U.S. Open matches without the stress and expense of parking,” said LIRR Interim President and Metro-North Railroad President Catherine Rinaldi. “The railroad now offers an off-peak $5 and peak $7 CityTicket option for those traveling within New York City, and with the opening of Grand Central Madison on the East Side of Manhattan, fans have two options to get to Mets-Willets Point in just 19 minutes.”
The Q48 bus stops at 126th Street and Roosevelt Avenue, providing convenient access to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Customers can use the real-time bus ridership tracking feature on the MYmta app before boarding.
“To all the passionate tennis fans, there’s no better way than taking public transit to the U.S. Open as it’s the greenest, most convenient and cost-efficient way to get to enjoy the matches,” said MTA Acting Chief Customer Officer Shanifah Rieara. “Customers can tap with their mobile device or payment card with ease, convenience and flexibility to get to the National Tennis Center in a breeze.”
Fans can enjoy free access to featured practices during U.S. Open Fan Week in Arthur Ashe Stadium, Louis Armstrong Stadium or on the Grandstand courts, where the biggest stars are preparing for the Grand Slam event.
“I’m incredibly thankful to be standing here with representatives from the MTA. I’d like to encourage everyone to take mass transit out to the Open this year,” said USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center Chief Operating Officer Danny Zausner. “All these new services available for people from Westchester, from Long Island, from New Jersey, and from places north, south, east and west is a wonderful opportunity for people to avoid the traffic that tends to come to this area during the U.S. Open.”