LIRRCC Statement – September 26, 2011 – Hurricane Irene Preparedness


Statement of the Long Island Rail Road Commuter Council

to the MTA Board Long Island Rail Road/Metro-North Railroad Committee

September 26, 2011


My name is William Henderson and I serve as Executive Director of the Long Island Rail Road Commuter Council and the Metro-North Railroad Commuter Council.  The LIRRCC and MNRCC were established in 1981 and serve as the legislatively mandated representative of Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad riders.

First, I want to take the opportunity to thank all those at the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad for their efforts in preparing for Hurricane Irene and bringing the system back into service after the storm had passed.  We know that the job is not quite complete on the Port Jervis Line, but the people of both railroads performed admirably in bringing the systems back into service.  Congratulations on a job well done.

In the proposed 2012 budget presented in August, the Long Island Rail Road included funding for communication improvements.  Hurricane Irene highlighted the need for communication with the riders.  Despite the best efforts of the railroads, we heard reports of riders who were unsure of the status of service and confused by contradictory information, some of which appeared on station platform displays.  We encourage both railroads to redouble their efforts to ensure that communication with its riders is as complete and explicit as is possible, even in difficult situations such as that faced before, during, and after Hurricane Irene.