City Officials Want The Express LIRR Train Back

We want our express train back! That’s what our city officials are telling the MTA. I will personally never understand the MTA; they always try to solve their problems by cutting services and raising fares. Wouldn’t it be better to attract as many riders as possible? Perhaps compete with the automobile? You know, offer the best commuting experience with no service cuts, plenty of trains and a guarantee arrival time? Ok, in this situation, it’s because of track work being done. I just wonder how long this work will take…

Press Release: City Officials Request LIRR Express Train Service Return

Long Beach, NY – Members of the Long Beach City Council are outraged over the recent temporary cancellation of express train service. “Service to Long Beach should never be cut in the summer,” commented City Council President Len Torres. “Why shouldn’t we have as many express trains as other communities? Summer work should be done where summer ridership decreases, not where it increases.”

As excavation work is being done on the Queens side of the East River Tunnels, an important switch has been taken out of service. This has eliminated one of the three eastbound tracks normally used during the PM Peak period. Long Island Rail Road trains are now operating using two main tracks between Penn Station and Jamaica instead of three during this time period. The reduction in capacity has resulted in the cancellation/combination of three evening rush hour trains – two on the Babylon Branch and one on the Long Beach Branch. “We are against any cuts to service in Long Beach – temporary or otherwise,” stated City Council Vice President Scott J. Mandel. “While we recognize this work has to be done, we feel that it is unfair to punish Long Beach commuters, particularly in this time of year.”

“The express train is sorely missed by many of our residents, trying to get out of the hot city and back home to Long Beach,” said City Council member Fran Adelson. “While we laud the LIRR for their recent announcement of adding additional peak trains later this year, we are disappointed in their decision to cut express service for commuters during the middle of the summer.”

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8 thoughts on “City Officials Want The Express LIRR Train Back”

  1. I dont get why there is a 5:00 5:20 & 5:23. Then a 5:55. How many people get out of work fast enough to catch those first 3 trains? spread those out alittle. (of course when they aren’t working on the PENN/GCT dig.)

  2. Before the cuts almost two years ago, there was a 5:33 to long Beach from Atlantic Ave, and you could take a 5:34 from Penn and transfer at Jamaica. I also miss the 6:09 AM to Atlantic Ave and several late PM trains. It’s galling that the previous cuts were never restored and they are cutting additional service, even if (supposedly) temporarily.

  3. On the LIRR, The Boardwalk and paying for things to get out of City debt…maybe the LIRR and The City of Long Beach can have dynamic pricing on sketchy weather forecast days like today. No one is taking a train (but it still is running) to Long Beach (where the beach is still open for business at 12.00 per pass) and lower prices to attract cloudy beach goers or those late comers who wait until it’s free to get on. Half price is better than nothing if the people who are spending don’t. How about half price fares after 2:00 to LB and a1/2 price beach ticket package? More than 50% chance of rain forecasted, 1/2 off!

  4. I emailed the MTA two years ago to inquire about this issue since it’s so odd that other stations have more frequent trains which are evenly dispersed between 5 and 6 (prime rush hour). I have since given up commuting by train and now drive into lower manhattan every day. The cost is roughly 3X more with gas, tolls and parking. Going through Rockaway the time varies from 1-1.5 hours which was the same as taking the train/subway to Wall St. Here was their response (sorry for the long post):

    “Thank you for your e-mail concerning Long Beach Branch Long Island Rail Road service. The amount of service provided to a particular station is dependent on a number of factors including the number of riders, the physical characteristics of the branch and station and equipment availability. Ridership, for example, from Long Beach Station in a 24-hour period is approximately 8,700. Rockville Centre has a daily ridership of approximately 6,800. Lower than Long Beach, but Rockville Centre is located on the railroad’s busiest branch (Babylon). Hicksville has a daily ridership of approximately 17,000. Looking at branch ridership, the Babylon Branch has approximately 65,000 daily riders, the Ronkonkoma Branch (Hicksville is located on this branch as well as the Port Jefferson Branch) has
    daily ridership of approximately 46,000. The Long Beach Branch has daily ridership of about 20,000. Accordingly, the LIRR has developed a system to help assist us in determining service levels. Both the Hicksville Station and Rockville Centre Station are considered Level 1 stations while Long Beach Station is Level 2.

    All four Long Beach trains departing Penn Station between 5 PM and 6 PM are reported to have available seating, according to our most recent train ridership counts. This includes one 12-car train (the 5:55 PM from Penn), two 10-car trains and one 8-car train. As part of the severe budget related service reductions that went into effect last year, a Long Beach train from Atlantic Terminal, Brooklyn was cancelled. This train, which had departed Brooklyn at 5:40 PM with a Jamaica connection, had a relatively low ridership and impacted the least amount of riders.

    I would also suggest that as a Long Beach customer you look for a seat in the western half of PM rush hour trains. We have found that most Island Park and Long Beach riders fill up the first three or four cars.

    We appreciate your interest in the LIRR.”

  5. I agree. The 6:37am gets me to the office by 8am, but if I have to be in by 7:30, I either have to take the 5:35 or spend the night with a friend.

  6. All that money to refurbish the Atlantic Avenue terminal and you can’t get there from here – absurd!

    As for the empty seats, if the conductors would make people remove their belongings and people stop acting like they are put upon when someone actually tries to sit in a middle seat, there may be fewer standees. Many of us do sit in the western end of the train and move up as it empties. Perhaps certain cars should be designated for LB and IP passengers?

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