Amtrak will need to take decisive action to address the future needs of New York Penn Station, work that will by necessity inconvenience LIRR riders. The LIRRCC agrees with the decision to bring in an outside expert to carry out this review and make recommendations for change, but insists that Long Island Rail Road riders should be represented among the stakeholders on Amtrak’s disabled train task force.
“Amtrak is acting responsibly in addressing deferred maintenance and operational problems in Penn Station. We are heartened that Amtrak is taking action, albeit long overdue, to attend to these deferred maintenance and operational problems. The conditions that riders have endured for years and that have been highlighted in past weeks are intolerable and cannot be allowed to continue” said LIRRCC Chair Mark Epstein. “We know that infrastructure renewal will impact Penn Station riders, but the size and nature of that impact will depend on the specific plan that is developed to complete this work. It is encouraging that Amtrak has committed to focus on the ‘customer experience’ during this period, and this focus must include a commitment to improved communication with LIRR riders. We believe that improvements can best be accomplished by involving riders’ representatives in planning necessary work. The LIRRCC calls on Amtrak to make every effort to minimize disruption to riders as a result of necessary infrastructure renewal, to work to coordinate passenger services throughout Penn Station, and to publicly release detailed plans well in advance of their implementation.”
Read the full statement here: 17-08 LIRRCC Penn Station Improvement Plan