New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo released a plan on Tuesday to expand the Long Island Rail Road to improve commuting quality and attract jobs and businesses to the region.
The comprehensive plan would transform the railroad's infrastructure and add important investments to the local area.
There is currently limited capacity for the LIRR because it has not been updated significantly in the past 50 years. The governor has proposal an expansion of the Floral Park-Hicksville line to expand capacity and access for commuters. The project would decrease the earlier proposed construction corridor from 11.5 miles to 9.8 miles while minimizing how the construction work would affect communities located on the line’s right of way. In addition, all of the construction would happen outside of the current track. To accomplish this, just 50 landowners would be affected in the region, 20 of which would be residences.
“Long Island’s future prosperity depends on a modern transportation network that eases congestion on our roads, improves service on the LIRR, helps this region’s economy and preserves the character of these great communities,” Cuomo said. “This is a robust and comprehensive agenda to do just that and help build a brighter tomorrow for Nassau and Suffolk residents.”
LIRR President Patrick Nowakowski agrees.
“When I first came to the LIRR, I was impressed with the magnitude of the operation, and the lengths that our people go to think creatively to overcome challenging situations,” Nowakowski said. “But I was very surprised that an operation of this magnitude – the central spine of the busiest commuter railroad in the United States – was at its heart very fragile. A third track will enable us to provide a better experience for our customers with better on-time performance and fewer hassles from delayed trains. And it will attract new customers to our environmentally friendly mode of transportation.”