Riders Welcome New Long Island Railroad Service

Yesterday was a historic day for the Long Island Railroad as the day marked the agency’s first new rail service since the 1964 World’s Fair shuttle. The new service is in response to traffic congestion during the construction work on County Road 39. The service will operate weekdays from October 23, 2007 through May 22, 2008.

The expanded service dubbed the “East End Shuttle” will feature three additional eastbound, weekday trains from Speonk with two terminating in Montauk and one in East Hampton. There will also be three additional westbound, weekday trains with two originating from Montauk and one from East Hampton which will terminate at Speonk. Here is a quick fare breakdown for the “East End Shuttle”:

  1. $2.25 uniform intra-zone fare for travel between Speonk and Montauk
  2. $1.00 uniform intra-zone fare for travel between Speonk & Montauk for the seniors & disabled riders
  3. Weekly pass will cost $20
  4. Monthly pas will cost $66

The cost of the service is estimated to run $84,000 a month. The costs included in the estimate include fuel, cleaning, maintenance, & crew. According to the LIRR, they are working with the government to help fund the additional operating expenses that would be incurred with this enhanced service.

The Long Island Railroad along with local politicians & residents are thrilled with the new service. Here are some comments from all sides:

Long Island Railroad President Helena Williams – “In response to community requests, the LIRR is nearly doubling its service to East End communities during the coming months. We are pleased to be partnering with local East End communities, elected officials and Suffolk County to help mitigate traffic congestion during the construction work on County Road 39. I am proud that the LIRR has been able to work with community leaders on this initiative.”

State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. – “South Fork community leaders have long envisioned improved rail and bus service as a means of reducing traffic congestion on the South Fork. The current CR 39 construction project has provided us with an opportunity to request increased rail service.

I am indebted to the foresight of new LIRR President Helena Williams. Her willingness to think ‘outside the box’ has allowed our residents to have a real alternative to the traffic gridlock that is inevitable during the CR 39 project over the next 7-8 months. It could also prove to be the catalyst to future mass transit initiatives on the East End. I urge all my constituents to consider the train to meet their commuting needs from now until Memorial Day.”

Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy – “We are happy to be a partner in this bi-partisan, multi-leveled approach to solving a very real problem to our mutual constituents and customers. I would also like to thank new LIRR President Helena Williams for adopting a ‘can-do’ rather than a ‘can’t-do’ attitude.”

24 year old Manorville resident Linda LaRosa – “I’ve been working here for three years, and each year it [traffic] seems to get worse. Usually when you get to work, everybody is grumpy from the commute.”

65 year old East Moriches resident Don Sevigny – “It’s a mild excitement not jubilation. It’s another way of getting to work at East Hampton High School.”

I have to hand it to the Long Island Railroad for being proactive in creating better inter island service for commuters. Lets hope that this temporary project turns into permanent improvements to intra island service!

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