Above: (L-R) Rockville Centre Mayor Francis Murray, LIRR President Helena Williams, LIRRCC Chair Mark Epstein and LIRRCC Vice-Chair Matt Kessler.
Long Island Rail Road Commuter Council
Press Release 10/3/2012
The Long Island Rail Road Commuter Council (LIRRCC) today joined with the Long Island Rail Road to announce the implementation of a pilot program extending station waiting room open hours until 10:00 pm on weekdays. The LIRR’s action, which is in response to concerns raised by the LIRRCC, will bring a total of forty-one stations into the program.
The LIRRCC, concerned with the plight of riders locked out of stations and subject to inclement weather, urged the Rail Road to extend waiting room open hours systemwide. The LIRR responded with a limited trial in 2011. The Commuter Council continued to discuss this issue with the Rail Road, and in February 2012 the LIRR implemented a pilot program to extend until 10:00 pm the weekday waiting room open hours of a group of twenty stations. Following positive experience with the initial twenty stations, the expansion announced today adds twenty-one stations to this pilot.
This expansion is particularly important to riders with winter approaching. Winter weather makes waiting outside without shelter an extremely uncomfortable experience and also can delay the rider’s next mode of transportation, making an unpleasant wait even longer. The LIRRCC firmly believes that extended hours should be implemented systemwide, as access to station waiting rooms is necessary to provide riders a safe, sheltered, and comfortable environment where they can await their trains or connecting transportation. Today’s announcement is another step toward this goal and the Council commends the LIRR for their action.
”The extended waiting room hours directly impact the everyday safety and comfort of Long Island Rail Road riders, which is of paramount concern to the Long Island Rail Road Commuter Council.” said LIRRCC Chair Mark Epstein. “The LIRR serves daily commuters as well as families and individuals seeking a day trip. Meeting these riders’ needs may be challenging in these times of constrained budgets, but we look forward to working with the LIRR to develop creative means of giving riders the safe, clean, convenient and affordable transportation that they deserve.”
The stations that have previously been in the pilot program are Bellerose, Bethpage, Brentwood, Douglaston, Farmingdale, Great Neck, Kings Park, Little Neck, Lynbrook, Merrick, Mineola, Oakdale, Oceanside, Patchogue, Roslyn, Sayville, Stony Brook, Valley Stream, Wantagh, and Woodmere. The new stations are Baldwin, Broadway, Cedarhurst, Central Islip, East Hampton, Floral Park, Forest Hills, Greenlawn, Island Park, Kew Gardens, Lindenhurst, Northport, Queens Village, Rockville Centre, Ronkonkoma, Rosedale, Sea Cliff, Seaford, Smithtown, St. James and Westbury.