Report: LIRR delays, cancellations cost $60M in lost productivity

New York state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli released a new report highlighting the Long Island Rail Road's poor performance and its impact on commuters.



DiNapoli says the LIRR did not meet on-time performance goals in 2016 and had 17,951 trains that were late, canceled or terminated.



In addition, the report reveals that LIRR delays and cancellations impacted an estimated 7.5 million riders and cost more than an estimated $60 million in lost productivity.



"Commuters count on the LIRR to get them to their jobs on time and back home again," DiNapoli said. "While the LIRR reports that only a relatively small percentage of trains were late or canceled, too many commuters had a different experience."



The report goes on to reveal that the LIRR's on-time performance, which peaked at 95.2 percent in 2009, has since dropped. Preliminary data for the first quarter of 2017 shows that on-time performance slipped to 90.9 percent, down from 93.1 percent during the same period in 2016.



The report also found that performance deteriorates during the morning and evening peak periods when demand is the greatest.



MTA board member Mitch Pally says not all delays can be blamed on the LIRR, citing car or pedestrian accidents at stations or grade crossings.



"I'd rather get them there safely a few minutes late, than not get them there safely at all," says Pally.



In a statement, the MTA agreed, saying, "Not all delays are under our control. However, we are working to improve the maintenance procedures and protocols at Penn Station to ensure the best service possible."


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