Return of the rush: Increase in traffic on LI drives push to get more commuters on trains

With some people back in the office and schools open once again, there's been an increase in traffic on Long Island roads and a push to get more commuters to take the train.
This month brought a new school year with students, teachers and staff all returning to the classroom, with many driving to get there.
At the same time, fewer people are working from home. It has added up to what some call brutal morning and evening commutes.
Part of the problem is that only about half of Long Islanders who used the railroad before the pandemic have returned to using it regularly.
To entice more commuters back, the railroad suspended the peak fare surcharge until the end of the year.

Approximately 300,000 Long Islanders commuted by train before the pandemic. This month, ridership hit around 150,000, which is a record since the pandemic began but still less than normal.
"We want everyone to know that the railroad is more reliable than it's ever been...that it's safe and that they can use it because we know that traffic congestion has hit pre-pandemic, if it hasn't gone beyond pre-pandemic levels, " LIRR President Phillip Eng says.