Commuters concerned about proposed service changes on LIRR's Port Washington branch

Commuters are fighting back against proposed services changes possibly coming to the Long Island Rail Road.

News 12 Staff

Aug 12, 2022, 2:24 AM

Updated 611 days ago

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Commuters are fighting back against proposed services changes possibly coming to the Long Island Rail Road.
A second public meeting was held Thursday regarding a proposal the LIRR says will provide 70% more service in the morning and more than 43% more service in the evening with direct access to Manhattan's eastside for the Port Washington branch.
Critics say those numbers reflect pre-pandemic levels of service.
North Shore commuters are also angry that the proposal would take away their express train access.
Eric Dejong says the Metropolitan Transportation Authority needs to be more transparent about what this proposal really means.
"MTA should restore these express trains right away - stop providing the misleading at best data in your new statement and work with North Hempstead to provide more compress," Dejong says.
Even though the number of rush hour trains for the Port Washington branch will increase, they are going to be divided between two Manhattan terminals.
Currently, 14 Port Washington trains leave Penn Station in the evening. The number will drop to 10 and another 10 will leave out of Grand Central Station.
Laurie Scheinman says this will cause a longer ride for people that could stop young families from using the railroad.
"These new young families - mine or others - I'm worried at the heart of tomorrow's Port Washington," Scheinman. "I'm very concerned that we cannot afford to lose them because are the future of Port Washington."
One environmental group did thank the MTA for their decision to cut down traffic by providing train service for more people that don't have it, like those in Queens who now have options besides buses.
Before Thursday's public commentary began, LIRR Interim President Catherine Rinaldi made a statement regarding those concerned about the effects of the proposal.
Her statement read in part, "While there are physical limitations based upon the LIRR's infrastructure, we will adjust schedules if possible and we will continue to push for those infrastructure needs with municipal governments that will benefit LIRR customers."
If the proposal goes through, it will likely take affect in December.


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