Tag Archives: LIRR

Sen. Marcellino’s Letter to MTA Chairman and CEO

Dear Chairman Lhota:

 

On August 1, 2018 a Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) train from Penn Station to Port Washington derailed on the Queens side of the East River tunnels. This is the second train that has derailed in that area in the past two weeks. Thankfully, no one was injured in either incident, but riders had to endure yet another round of service cancellations and delays.

 

Any derailment is dangerous and life threatening. It puts the ridership, employees and the greater public’s well-being in jeopardy. Two derailments in the same spot, in a two-week period, are unacceptable and calls into question the overall safety of the system.

 

Every individual who uses the trains or puts a loved one on a train on a daily basis deserves to know what is being done to prevent the next accident; an accident that may cause loss of life, injuries and substantial property damage. What is the plan, both long term and short term, to address these types of derailments? Is maintenance on the tracks and trains being neglected? What changes were made at the location of the most recent derailments between the July 21st incident and today?

 

The welfare of the ridership should always be the number one goal of the system. Recent events have called that commitment into question. I look forward to a timely response so I can share with my constituents what the MTA and LIRR are doing to give every rider the confidence that they will arrive at their destination safely.

 

Thank you in advance for your immediate action on this most serious safety issue.

 

Sincerely,
Carl L. Marcellino

 

Visit Senator Marcellino’s webpage

Montesano Issues Public Advisory: LIRR Construction from Ronkonkoma to Hicksville

Assemblyman Michael Montesano would like to inform Long Islanders that track work will be performed on the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and construction will take place between Hicksville and Ronkonkoma as part of the Double Track Project. The main line will be out of service between Hicksville and Ronkonkoma from Saturday, March 3 at 12:50 a.m. to Monday, March 5, at 12:46 a.m., as well as Saturday, March 10 from 12:50 a.m. to Monday, March 12 at 12:46 a.m. During this time, a new crossover east of the Farmingdale platform will be installed, along with track work along the stretch from Farmingdale to Ronkonkoma and the continuation of platform renovation from Wyandanch and Pinelawn stations.

 

“While this will be an inconvenience to some riders, we must look at this as the LIRR making progress to improving the quality of their service,” said Montesano. “I hope that the LIRR and the MTA will stick to this schedule and finish the construction and track work in a timely manner so that it doesn’t affect Long Island resident’s commutes any more than it should have to.”

 

Alternative travel options will be provided through buses to shuttle passengers at stations from Ronkonkoma through Hicksville, with train service resuming afterward with Ronkonkoma going eastbound and Hicksville westbound. Eastbound passengers should plan for an additional 44 minutes of travel time and westbound passengers should anticipate to board buses up to 44 minutes earlier than normal.

 

Visit Assemblyman Montesano’s webpage

Montesano: LIRR Construction in Westbury at the End of February

Assemblyman Michael Montesano announced that the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) will be closing down the Urban Avenue grade crossing in Westbury from Friday, February 23 at 10 p.m. to Saturday, February 24 at 11:30 p.m. During this time, a new concrete grade crossing will be installed with temporary paving until permanent repaving can be done at a later date. The MTA Police Department will be present to help direct traffic and the MTA apologizes for any construction related noise that might disturb residents

 

“With the enormous amount of frustration the LIRR has caused for Long Islanders in the past few months, it is good to see that improvements are being made,” said Montesano. “I hope the MTA will continue to update its systems to make riding the LIRR more pleasurable and less hectic for commuters.”

 

Visit Assemblyman Montesano’s webpage

Ra Skeptical But Hopeful On 3rd Rail Project

A Statement from Assemblyman Ed Ra (R-Franklin Square) on moving forward with the 3rd rail project

 

“With funding now in place for the Governor’s third track project I remain skeptical but hopeful that the improvements promised to our communities will help both commuters and non-commuters alike. In particular, the elimination of several grade crossings will improve motorist safety and traffic flow in our communities while enhanced and renovated local stations will hopefully make traveling on the LIRR more efficient and a better experience for both daily commuters and those utilizing the system for leisure.

 

“As this project moves forward it is essential that the MTA fulfill the promises that they have made to the communities neighboring the LIRR main line. This includes keeping traffic and neighborhood disruption to a minimum during construction and ensuring displaced businesses are given the proper support that they will need to relocate. Further, given the state of the LIRR system as a whole I hope the MTA will continue to prioritize modernizing their infrastructure to bring Long Island commuters the quality of service they deserve.”

 

Visit Assemblyman Ra’s webpage

Legislator Ford Notifies Long Islanders of LIRR Summer Repair Schedule Update

Nassau County Legislator Denise Ford would like to share the most recently updated Long Island Rail Road Summer Repair Schedule with residents from the 4th Legislative District that use the LIRR branches listed below to go to and from work to help ease their daily commute as track work continues at Penn Station throughout the summer months.

 

LONG BEACH BRANCH – MORNING RUSH CHANGES

  • The westbound 3:58 AM train from Long Beach, due Atlantic Terminal at 4:48 AM, will not operate. Bus service will be provided.
  • An extra early-morning train will be provided, departing Long Beach at 4:58 AM and arriving at Atlantic Terminal at 6:00 AM.
  • The eastbound 5:28 AM train from Atlantic Terminal to Long Beach will not operate. Customers will be provided with substitute bus service.
  • 7:23 AM train from Long Beach, due at Penn at 8:22 AM, will be rerouted to Hunterspoint Avenue (arriving 8:13 AM).
  • Trains With Added Cars:
    Train #823: The 8:03AM train from Long Beach due Penn at 8:54AM will have 2 extra cars
    Train #825: The 8:08AM train from Long Beach due Penn at 9:02AM will have 2 extra cars

 

LONG BEACH BRANCH – EVENING RUSH CHANGES

  • Trains With Added Cars:
    Train #872: The 5:23PM train from Penn due Long Beach at 6:18PM will have 2 extra cars
    Train #878: The 6:13PM train from Penn due Long Beach at 7:10PM will have 2 extra cars
    Train #884: The 7:33PM train from Penn due Long Beach at 8:26PM will have 2 extra cars

 

FAR ROCKAWAY BRANCH – MORNING RUSH CHANGES

8:10 AM train from Far Rockaway, due at Penn at 9:05 AM, will end its run at Jamaica at 8:41 AM, where customers can catch Penn-bound trains at 8:49 AM and 8:52 AM.

 

FAR ROCKAWAY BRANCH – EVENING RUSH CHANGES

  • 4:43 PM train from Penn, due at Far Rockaway at 5:40 PM, will instead originate at Atlantic Terminal at 4:48 PM.
  • 5:32 PM train from Penn, due at Far Rockaway at 6:24 PM, will instead originate at Jamaica at 5:52 PM.
  • 6:02 PM train from Penn, due at Far Rockaway at 6:58 PM, will instead originate at Jamaica at 6:22 PM.
  • 5:53 PM westbound Off-Peak train from Far Rockaway, normally due into Penn Station at 6:47 PM, will be rerouted to Atlantic Terminal.
  •  Extra Off-Peak train departing Penn Station at 8:25 PM and arriving Far Rockaway at 9:19 PM.

 

BABYLON BRANCH – MORNING RUSH CHANGES

  • An extra westbound early-morning train will depart from Freeport at 5:43 AM and arrive at Penn Station at 6:24 AM.
  • 5:56 AM train from Babylon, due at Penn at 6:59 AM, will be rerouted to Atlantic Terminal (arriving 6:59 AM).
  • 6:57 AM express from Freeport, due at Penn at 7:40 AM, will be rerouted to Atlantic Terminal (arriving 7:39 AM).
  • 6:56 AM express from Wantagh, due at Penn at 7:43 AM, will end its run at 7:23 AM at Jamaica, where customers can catch trains bound for Penn at 7:28 AM and 7:31 AM.
  • 7:29 AM express from Freeport, due at Penn at 8:13 AM, will be rerouted to Atlantic Terminal (arriving 8:08 AM).
  • 7:10 AM train from Babylon, normally due at Penn at 8:20 AM, will not operate. To accommodate customers, the LIRR will add stops to two trains. The 6:21 AM from Speonk, due Penn at 8:23 AM, will depart three minutes earlier and make added stops at Massapequa Park, Massapequa and Seaford very close to the schedule of the cancelled train. The 7:44 AM from Merrick, due at Penn Station at 8:31 AM, will originate at Babylon and stop at Lindenhurst, Copiague and Amityville.
  • 8:10 AM express from Freeport, normally due at Penn at 8:50 AM, will be rerouted to Atlantic Terminal (arriving 8:47 AM).
  • 8:25 AM train from Freeport, due at Penn Station at 9:08 AM, will be rerouted to Hunterspoint Avenue (arriving 9:04 AM).
  • Trains With Added Cars:
    Train #17: The 5:41AM train from Babylon due Penn at 6:44AM will have 2 extra cars
    Train #25: The 6:12AM train from Babylon due Penn at 7:14AM will have 2 extra cars
    Train #31: The 6:42AM train from Babylon due Penn at 7:49AM will have 4 extra cars
    Train #1013: The 7:11AM train from Massapequa Park due Penn at 8:08AM will have 2 extra cars
    Train #1017: The 7:44AM train from Merrick due Penn at 8:31AM will have 4 extra cars
    Train #45: The 7:45AM train from Babylon due Penn at8:56AM will have 2 extra cars
    Train #51: The 8:35AM train from Babylon due Penn at 9:37AM will have 2 extra cars

 

BABYLON BRANCH – EVENING RUSH CHANGES

  • 3:31 PM train from Penn is an extra train that will run express to Rockville Centre, then make all local stops to Babylon.
  • 4:57 PM train from Penn stopping at Merrick and all stops to Wantagh is cancelled. Customers can take the 5:03 PM train from Penn, with added stops at Merrick, Bellmore and Wantagh.
  • 5:19 PM train from Penn stopping at Merrick and all stops to Wantagh is cancelled. Customers can take the 5:24 PM train from Penn, with added stops at Merrick, Bellmore and Wantagh.
  • 5:40 PM train from Penn stopping at Merrick and all stops to Seaford is cancelled. Customers can take the 5:47 PM train from Penn, with added stops at Merrick, Bellmore, Wantagh and Seaford.
  • 6:05 PM train from Penn stopping at Merrick and all stops to Wantagh is cancelled. Customers can take the 6:10 PM train from Penn, with added stops at Merrick, Bellmore and Wantagh.
  •  An extra evening rush hour train will be provided from Hunterspoint Avenue at 7:02 PM, stopping at Jamaica, then Rockville Centre, Baldwin and Freeport, arriving at 7:42 PM.
  •  Trains With Added Cars:
    Train #1050: The 3:34PM train from Penn due Wantagh at 4:27PM will have 2 extra cars
    Train #1154: The 5:24PM train from Penn due Freeport at 6:10PM will have 2 extra cars
    Train #1158: The 6:10PM train from Penn due Freeport at 6:54PM will have 4 extra cars
    Train #168: The 6:46PM train from Penn due Babylon at 8:01PM will have 2 extra cars
    Train #182: The 9:08PM train from Penn due Babylon at 10:25PM will have 2 extra cars

 

 

Visit Legislator Ford’s webpage

Santino & Ra Call on Governor, MTA to Upgrade Belmont Train Station for Year-Round Commuter Service

Facility Could Accommodate Underserved Elmont, Franklin Square Residents

 

Standing near the world-renowned Belmont Park, Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony J. Santino and Assemblyman Ed Ra called upon New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo and the MTA to upgrade the train station at the horse-racing facility to provide year-round commuter train service. The officials asserted that the state’s focus on development at the site provides a perfect opportunity to include commuter rail service for the underserved communities of Elmont and Franklin Square. Santino and Ra observed that providing commuter rail service is critical to stimulating the region’s economy, especially in the west end of Nassau County, by providing greater mass transit access for the local workforce to New York City, Queens and Brooklyn.

 

“State officials are acutely focused on economic development at Belmont Park Racetrack, and that is a good thing,” said Santino. “As part of the vision for Belmont’s future, we are asking the Governor and the MTA to seize an opportunity to provide year-round commuter train service at this site for the underserved communities of Elmont and Franklin Square. Creating greater access to job opportunities in Manhattan and the other boroughs would be a ‘shot-in-the-arm’ to local communities and our area’s economy.”

 

After reading news reports that indicated a Request for Proposals (RFP) is soon to be disseminated by state officials, seeking the vision of planners for transformative economic development at Belmont, Santino and Ra saw an opportunity for area residents, especially commuters. In specific, the Supervisor and Assemblyman observed that a recent $5 million Belmont Train Station platform expansion constituted a key infrastructure investment for this underutilized rail station. Further, the officials noted that two very large hamlets that surround the station, Elmont and Franklin Square, do not have local train stations. In fact, nearby train stations in Floral Park, Garden City, Stewart Manor and Valley Stream are located within village boundaries and offer extremely few parking opportunities for commuters of unincorporated areas such as Franklin Square and Elmont. Indeed, Elmont’s population of 33,198 and Franklin Square’s resident total of 29,320 represent among the largest hamlets in the town.

 

“Redevelopment plans for the property at Belmont Park present a unique opportunity for local commuters that should not be overlooked,” said Ra. “The hamlets of Franklin Square and Elmont deserve a viable alternative when it comes to commuting to the city.”

 

Santino and Ra said that expanded train service at Belmont is consistent with the priorities of the Governor and the MTA with respect to increasing ridership on the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR). In fact, the railroad’s ridership has grown 10.2 percent over the past 5 years from 81 million to 89.3 million. Ridership continues to grow by almost 2 percent each year.

 

The officials, who often visit the train stations in nearby villages surrounding Franklin Square and Elmont, mentioned that the most frequent complaint they hear is that there is virtually no parking for residents of Elmont and Franklin Square. As a result, these town commuters are forced to pay cab fare, inconvenience family and friends to provide rides to the village stations and/or walk long distances in inclement weather.

 

“Elmont and Franklin Square are vibrant and dynamic communities that have an opportunity to realize even greater economic potential,” said Ra. “By creating a year-round commuter train station at the Belmont Racetrack, we will be stimulating the local economy in and around Belmont while simultaneously creating economic opportunities for residents of Western Nassau County.”

 

Santino and Ra have written to Governor Cuomo, requesting that any redevelopment plans, requests for proposals and associated initiatives to transform Belmont include provisions for a full-time commuter train station at Belmont Racetrack.

 

“Any redevelopment proposal for Belmont’s future must deliver on the promise of economic opportunity for residents of Elmont and Franklin Square,” concluded Santino. “Providing real benefits for this region must include a full-time commuter train station at this site.”

 

Visit the Town of Hempstead website

Santino Increases LIRR Resident-Only Parking Spaces to 6,400

Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony J. Santino and Councilman Gary Hudes have proposed a major commuter parking initiative that would witness over 6,400 parking spaces being reserved for the township’s residents at five train stations along the LIRR’s south shore line between Seaford and Baldwin. The proposal’s stated goal is to help ensure that more parking spaces are available to Town of Hempstead residents who use LIRR trains to commute to work. Also present at a media announcement on the resident-only parking plan were Town Clerk Nasrin Ahmad and some local commuters who support the initiative.

 

“Hempstead Town commuters deserve top priority when it comes to having a parking spot at train station parking lots which are owned and maintained by the town,” stated Santino. “This proposal will save our town’s commuters from having to compete with drivers who live outside the area for a parking space at many train stations in our township.”

 

Train stations affected by the proposal include Seaford, Bellmore, Merrick, Wantagh and Baldwin. The plan would dramatically increase the number of parking spaces reserved for town residents by 165%. Currently, the town has 2,420 spaces restricted to town-only commuters at the five affected stations contrasted with 6,429 parking stalls under the Santino/Hudes plan.

 

“Commuters have brought to our attention that parking spaces at our town’s commuter lots are being swept up by residents of Suffolk County and other drivers who live outside our town,” stated Hudes. “I have worked closely with Supervisor Santino as he has put together this plan, and I thank him for his dedication to our commuters.” “I am very happy that Supervisor Santino made this effort to include additional resident parking at these five stations,” said Levittown commuter Bob Dolencie. “It is a big plus for Town of Hempstead residents.”

 

The officials explained that their proposal is planned to take effect on April 1, 2016, pending the Town Board’s adoption of the resident-only parking plan at the February 9th meeting of the Hempstead Town Board. The April 1st date would coincide with the long-established renewal date for the town’s commuter parking permits (permits cover the period from April 1st to March 31st.)

 

To provide residents with an opportunity to obtain a resident-only parking permit, town officials will be visiting the affected Long Island train stations as follows: Baldwin, Tuesday, March 8th; Seaford, Thursday, March 10th; Merrick, Tuesday, March 15th; Bellmore, Thursday, March 17th; and Wantagh, Tuesday, March 22nd. The town will have its Mobile Town Hall at the station between the hours of 6 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. on these dates.

 

“Hempstead Town residents will have a greater opportunity to get a parking spot at local train stations as a result of this proposal,” concluded Santino. “This initiative is part of my commitment to enhancing the quality-of-life for our township’s neighbors.”

 

Residents must bring their car registration as proof of residency when purchasing permits. Payment may be made in cash or by check (payable to the Town of Hempstead). Parking permits do NOT guarantee a parking space; however, they do ensure that parking in permit stalls is reserved exclusively for Town of Hempstead residents. In addition to upcoming parking permit sales at train stations within Hempstead Town parking fields, residents can secure parking permits at Hempstead Town Hall, One Washington Street in Hempstead. Office hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m, and Thursday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Residents who wish to apply for a commuter parking permit by mail should visit our website at http://bit.ly/tohparkingpermit for an application and instructions. For further information about commuter parking permits, please call (516) 812-3513, e-mail commuterparking@tohmail.org.

 

Visit the Town of Hempstead website

Murray, Town Board Members Call MTA’s Strategy to Cram Commuters From 32 LIRR Stations Into Three “Unworkable”

Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray and members of the Hempstead Town Board held a press briefing at the Bellmore Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) station, lambasting a busing plan that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) intends to implement in the event of a strike by LIRR unions. The plan calls for “herding” commuters from over 30 LIRR stations along the Babylon branch (includes Far Rockaway, Long Beach and West Hempstead branches, which connect to Babylon branch) into 3 overcrowded stations in Bellmore, Seaford and Freeport. Commuters would be bused to subway locations in Queens from those stations. The town officials branded the plan “unworkable, ill-conceived and poorly planned.” Joining the Supervisor at a press briefing on the issue were Senior Councilman Anthony Santino, Councilwoman Angie Cullin, Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, Councilman Gary Hudes, Councilman James Darcy and Councilman Ed Ambrosino, along with Town Clerk Nasrin Ahmad and Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin.

 

“Herding commuters from over 30 local south shore train stations into 3 stations that are already filled to capacity for busing into the city is nonsensical,” stated Murray. “The MTA has to do better and come up with a real plan to transport commuters from Long Island to the city in an orderly manner if an LIRR strike occurs. What’s more, dumping the entire burden of all of the commuters along the Babylon line onto one town is not fair. After all, three to four towns are served by the branch.”

 

Murray and other town officials also blanched at the MTA’s message to commuters, as reported in Newsday, calling on residents to “stay home” in the event of a strike.

 

“Try telling a cancer patient with an appointment for life-saving surgery in the city to stay home,” said Murray. “It’s just not reasonable,” added Santino, “And, it demonstrates a complete lack of concern for commuters.”

 

Murray expressed dismay at the MTA’s plan to utilize only three LIRR stations as “busing depots”, Bellmore, Seaford and Freeport, for almost 38,000 riders who use the Babylon branch and 3 connecting branches (Far Rockaway, West Hempstead, Long Beach) in the town on a daily basis. The Bellmore, Seaford and Freeport train stations have a grand total of approximately 3,775 parking spots. The officials indicated that attempting to cram the 38,000 commuters from the Babylon line, along with tens of thousands of riders from other train lines, would wreak havoc in downtown Freeport, Bellmore and Seaford. The town representatives said that local residential streets would be overrun, downtown businesses would be decimated with commuters snapping-up shopper parking spaces and traffic in these idyllic neighborhoods would grind to a halt. The MTA does also anticipate utilizing parking at Nassau Community College and the Hicksville LIRR station for shuttle bus service to accommodate Nassau commuters.

 

“This is not an alternative transportation plan for commuters impacted by an LIRR strike,” said Hudes. “This is a recipe for disaster,” added Cullin.

 

On May 12, 2014, the MTA disseminated a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking bus companies/operators to present their responses to the request, detailing plans to furnish bus transportation for commuters between Nassau/Suffolk Counties and Queens locations. The request, issued in apparent anticipation of a LIRR strike, calls for the use of a total of 250 (or more) buses. The buses would furnish alternative transportation in the absence of an operating LIRR train system to over 261,000 daily commuters on Long Island. Town officials expressed reservations over the MTA’s readiness to deal with the prospective strike, pointing out that the daily ridership dwarfs the number of buses planned to move commuters between Long Island and Queens. In fact, the daily ridership equals over 1,000 commuters per bus based upon the MTA’s own numbers (261,000 riders/250 buses).

 

“The numbers just don’t add up,” stated Darcy. “The MTA is ‘railroading’ commuters into a plan that makes absolutely no sense,” added Goosby. “School’s out and buses should be readily available in numbers greater than 250 vehicles,” stated Ambrosino.

 

In addition to the three Hempstead Town train stations that will serve as bus depots in the event of a strike, the LIRR also plans to set up depots at the Hicksville LIRR station and at Nassau Community College.

 

Town officials wondered why there was no temporary bus depots planned for Babylon Town and Oyster Bay along the LIRR Babylon branch. The officials pointed out that a half of a dozen stations exist between Babylon Town and Hempstead Town (Babylon, Copiague, Amityville, Lindenhurst, Massapequa, and Massapequa Park).

 

“It makes little sense to ignore residents of other towns,” observed Murray. “What’s more, cramming all of the commuters from three towns into a few stations in Hempstead Town defies logic,” added Hudes.

 

In a letter to the MTA, Murray and her colleagues on the Town Board have asked the Authority to go back to the drawing board and craft a workable solution for commuters. The officials suggested establishing the temporary bus depots at each respective train station from which commuters depart each morning. In addition, the Town Board members suggested that bus depots specifically be set up at LIRR Babylon line branches in the other towns served by the line as well as Hempstead Town. The officials stated that the entire traffic and parking congestion burden should not be placed exclusively upon one township.

 

“Unfortunately, the MTA’s solution to a prospective strike scenario is to cram 10 pounds of ridership into the proverbial 5 pound bag,” said Murray. “It’s little wonder that many commuters have an unfavorable opinion of the MTA. It’s time for MTA management to develop an intelligent and workable transportation plan for commuters who would be affected in the event of a strike.”

 

Visit the Town of Hempstead website

LIRR’s Massapequa Park Station Inspected for Short-Term and Long-Term Needs

New York State Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) and Massapequa Park Mayor Jeffrey Pravato recently visited the Massapequa Park Train Station with Long Island Rail Road President Helena Williams and other LIRR officials. President Williams and the other LIRR officials visited the station to perform an inspection at the request of Senator Fuschillo and Mayor Pravato.

 

As part of the inspection, the officials viewed conditions throughout the entire station. According to LIRR officials, the LIRR will be conducting a comprehensive assessment of both the short-term and long-term needs for the station.

 

Pictured above are Senator Fuschillo (center) and Mayor Pravato (right)  with LIRR President Helena Williams and LIRR officials at the Massapequa Park Train Station.

 

Visit Senator Fuschillo’s webpage