LIRR president: Agency needs 'to think outside the box' to find new money

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WOODBURY -

With the MTA Board set to vote on a fare hike on Thursday, Long Island Rail Road President Philip Eng says the agency is in need of even more money.

"So we need to think outside the box," Eng said while sharing his vision for the railroad's future while speaking to a group of business leaders in Woodbury Wednesday morning. "We need to find ways to not just rely on the existing revenue streams."

It came just a day before the MTA Board will vote on a potential fare hike and days after the LIRR reported its worst on-time performance in 19 years. This week alone, the LIRR struggled with broken rails and signal trouble that led to even more delays.

Many riders argue they already pay too much for a service that is unreliable at best, and the president of the LIRR Commuter Council warns that a fare hike doesn't necessarily mean the LIRR or its customers will benefit.

But there are some riders who say if the funds from a fare hike really were to benefit the railroad and improve performance, then they would begrudgingly foot the bill. After all, they say they don't really have a choice.

Extended interview with Phillip Eng

Eng says the quick drop in temperature was to blame for the trio of broken rails on the LIRR. For a point of comparison, Metro-North also suffered a broken rail and had signal and circuit issues.

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LIRR has worst on-time performance in 19 years

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