In what comes as a bit of news to me, it seems that there is a niche rider market that needed some service to match their needs. The market in question is the unknown amount of people needing to get to Riverhead for jury duty.
After having discussions with Suffolk County officials & analyzing the possibilities, the LIRR has announced it will launch the “Jury Duty Special” on September 13th. Here are the complete details courtesy of a press release they sent me on Monday:
Suffolk County residents will soon be doing their civic duty with the help of MTA Long Island Rail Road.
LIRR President Helena Williams announced today that beginning September 13 the nation’s largest commuter railroad would be revising its schedule to get Suffolk jurors to Riverhead before 9 AM every day that courts are in session.
“For some time, Suffolk County officials have been telling us there is an untapped demand for train service to Riverhead from the hundreds of people who are summoned daily for jury service,” Williams said. “After studying the possibilities, we will adjust our schedule to provide a train specially timed to get jurors to Riverhead courts by 9 AM every weekday and back home again in the afternoon. I am grateful to Suffolk County Commissioner of Jurors Michael D. O’Donohoe, Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter and MTA Board Member Mitchell Pally for their assistance in developing this plan.”
The LIRR is making the adjustment at no additional cost.
Commissioner O’Donohoe said: “The new Long Island Railroad schedule will be very helpful in getting the jurors out of their cars and onto the train, saving the jurors both time looking for a place to park and wear and tear on their vehicles. I want to thank LIRR President Helena Williams and her staff for the hard work they put into this effort in helping make jury service more convenient for the riding public.”
The “Jury Duty Special” will run along the LIRR’s centrally located Main Line, departing from Deer Park at 7:54 AM. The train will then proceed east, picking up customers at Brentwood (7:59 AM), Central Islip (8:03 AM), Ronkonkoma (8:10 AM), Medford (8:21 AM), Yaphank (8:29 AM) and arriving in Riverhead at 8:55 AM where a free shuttle bus will be waiting to take them to nearby courthouses.
Jurors dismissed after morning service will be able to take the shuttle back to Riverhead Station in time to catch the 1:21 PM westbound train, which will make the same stops arriving in Deer Park at 2:28 PM. A later train will depart Riverhead at 3:58 PM.
More than 30,000 Suffolk County residents are summoned to serve on juries in State Supreme Court and Suffolk County Court in Riverhead every year and, on any given day, hundreds may be reporting for duty.
I will be curious as to the cost of tickets for this service if any as well as official rider statistics. Honestly, I never knew there was a demand for service to Riverhead for jury duty. Hopefully it is a win-win for everyone in the end.
xoxo Transit Blogger