Petition demands LIRR refunds for 'extreme delays'

Posted: Updated:
COMMACK -

After another work week began with delays and cancellations, hundreds of Long Island Rail Road riders signed a petition get the trains back on track.

As News 12 Long Island has reported, service disruptions began Monday morning when two people died in separate incidents on the tracks. That night, commuters had to transfer to buses because of a signal problem in Central Islip. Tuesday night, there were lightning storms and heavy rains, and Wednesday morning still had residual power issues. That all followed a derailment in Queens last week.

"All the trains on the North Shore were suspended, so I didn't get home for like four hours," says Rachael Davidson, of Plainview.

So a fed-up commuter from Commack launched a Change.org petition demanding the LIRR return fares on days where there are "extreme delays."

And beyond the refunds, the organizer says he wants the National Transportation Safety Board to investigate the railroad.

"We really need to have someone come in and take control," says Eric Trinagel. "This is a really big problem, and it's not getting looked into, and I'm fearing for my safety and the safety of other riders."

Trinagel says the trains are unsafe and unreliable.

Among other events he took issue with was a photograph of two trains sitting on the same track. The LIRR says it is "investigating the incident" depicted in that image.

Trinagel says the LIRR has met riders' concerns with silence.

"It doesn't seem like anyone wants to come in and start governing this before there is a huge disaster," he says.

LIRR President Phil Eng says he's working to restore confidence in the rail.

"I take the same trains my customers do," he says. "And I feel their frustrations."

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