On April 18, Newsday put out an article on the growth in off-peak travel on Long Island Rail Road, “LIRR: Historic gain from off-peak job, leisure ridership.”
The article cites, “the LIRR’s 2015 Annual Ridership Report, released yesterday, showed that off-peak travel climbed 2.1 percent last year, more than the 2 percent growth in rush-hour rides…According to the report, systemwide LIRR ridership has grown by 15 percent over the last 30 years, while non rush-hour travel has risen by 20 percent in just the last 10 years.” Some of this shift to non rush-hour travel can be attributed to changes in the traditional work week: employees now may work from more than one location or may work from home part of the time. Additionally, “the report predicted the LIRR will ‘maintain the upward trend of ridership growth’ in 2016, in part because of continued growth in New York City employment and ‘the impressive lineup of performances’ at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn. Through March 2016, ridership has already grown by more than 3 percent, compared to the same period in 2015.”
Importantly, the article notes that, “the trend in ridership improving coincides with a trend of service worsening in recent years. On-time performance fell for the third straight year in 2015…LIRR Commuter Council chairman Mark Epstein said ridership growth should signal the MTA to improve and add service, and to rethink its next planned fare increase next year.” Epstein highlighted the fact that the MTA should be focusing on how these ridership trend changes impact the rider saying, “the riders are doing their job. It’s up to the MTA now to do its job. People are taking the train, but that’s not saying they’re taking it happily.”
find Alfonso A. Castillo’s Newsday article here.
find the LIRR 2015 Annual Ridership Report here.
photo from nydailynews.com