LIRR further scaling back service starting Monday

Trains will run on hourly schedules during the middle of the day on the Ronkonkoma, Hempstead, Far Rockaway, Port Washington and Long Beach branches.

News 12 Staff

Mar 5, 2021, 11:18 PM

Updated 1,135 days ago

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A number of service cuts are set to take effect on the Long Island Rail Road on Monday, with weekday service looking more like weekend service.
The LIRR has already cut back service by 20% during the pandemic and starting Monday, service will be cut by another 5% as ridership remains low.
Trains will run on hourly schedules during the middle of the day on the Ronkonkoma, Hempstead, Far Rockaway, Port Washington and Long Beach branches. They will run every half-hour on the Babylon and Huntington lines.
LIRR President Phil Eng says ridership has grown only to 24%.
"We've seen ridership drop 97% back in the beginning of the pandemic, and we've seen it come back slowly," says Eng.
Eng says although some trains will be cut, they are ready to add more trains when they see that there's a need.
"We have the ability to know in real time how many passengers are on each train and in each car," says Eng. "We have the ability to use that data on the day of, as well as helping us plan for us to adjust service."
Gerard Bringmann, with the LIRR Commuter Council, says any adjustment to the train service, however small, can have a huge impact on commuters. He hopes this is their last cut of the pandemic.
"All I've heard talking to people this week is 'I talked to my boss and see if I can get in 15 minutes late or a half an hour later ... can I leave 15 minutes early?'" says Bringmann. "This is going to be rock bottom. It can only get better from here."


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