Gov. Cuomo: Amtrak should pay for LIRR service disruption

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK -

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says Amtrak must pay for all the disruptions Long Island Rail Road riders will face during this summer's track repairs at Penn Station. 

He says he is taking steps to help commuters deal with what he has called the "summer from hell." 

The governor says he has accelerated the construction on bridges and tunnels in an effort to get all lanes open. He also says cashless tolling has been implemented on those bridges and tunnels. 

"In other words, you don't stop at the toll booths and traffic was moving much better," says Gov. Cuomo. 

In addition, he says MTA will run 200 express buses on the Long Island Expressway and increase ferry service. 

Gov. Cuomo says Amtrak should be paying for all the extra services required for commuters, adding that the LIRR pays Amtrak about $50 million a year to rent tracks at Penn Station. 

"We shouldn't be paying rent for tracks that we can't use," says the governor. "My point is enough is enough. You can't continue like this on Long Island. "

Gov. Andrew Cuomo also announced the opening of a portion of the new Farley Station concourse. Long Island Rail Road riders got to go into the new concourse on 8th Avenue Thursday morning.

The governor says it connects riders right to Penn Station, but that construction won't be completed for another two to three years.

"It's going to be comparable but better than Grand Central Station," says Cuomo. "It means if you're an LIRR user, you literally could come in through the new concourse and never go through Penn Station itself."

Amtrak did not return a call to comment on this story.

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