The following  is the Long Island Rail Road's statement about the gap issue:

"Safety is the MTA Long Island Rail Road's first priority. Our focus in this area has reduced customer accidents 50 percent over the last decade. Yet even one accident is one too many. When an accident occurs on Railroad property, it is thoroughly investigated and actions taken to prevent a recurrence.

"The LIRR is working closely and cooperatively with federal and state railroad oversight agencies as they review concerns about the gap between trains and platforms and prepare to issue gap-related safety recommendations.

"However, the LIRR is already taking actions to minimize the gap through track resurfacing, or re-alignment, where it is feasible. Railroad Engineering Department forces recently raised and shifted track at twenty-one stations in order to reduce the size of the gap at those locations. We continue to identify other stations where track resurfacing can help minimize the gap. At twelve stations, we have employed other measures  --  edgeboards have been installed to the face of the platform at some stations; at others we have shifted platform slabs to reduce the gap. 'Watch the Gap' warning messages are also being stenciled on LIRR station platforms.

"On another front, research and development is in progress to determine potential long-term measures, which could include the use of gap fillers or other devices.

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"In an on-going effort to raise customer awareness of the gap, LIRR employees have developed a new gap-warning sign, which uses a pictograph to more clearly demonstrate the need to step over the gap. This sign was installed at Shea Stadium prior to the playoff games due to the record crowds anticipated, and has also been installed at other stations, such as Penn Station, Flatbush, Jamaica, Woodside, Syosset and Lawrence. A newly designed pictograph, by a recognized expert in iconography, will be installed at all LIRR stations and will replace the existing 'Watch the Gap' decal on LIRR passenger trains.

"A video with helpful tips on gap safety was produced and made available on the LIRR's Web site. It can be viewed at www.mta.info/lirr/safety.

"Other elements of the stepped-up customer education effort include: a new 'Watch the Gap' brochure, a bi-lingual (Spanish-English) 'Watch the Gap' flyer, and posters installed on trains and at stations.

"The new 'Watch the Gap' brochure highlights safety procedures for boarding and exiting trains  --  advising customers to step carefully over the gap; to hold children's hands when exiting or entering the train; to use extra caution when navigating gaps at curved platforms; and to always keep a safe distance from the edge of the platform. The train and station posters and the bi-lingual flyer echo this important safety message.

"While we have successfully reduced customer accidents in the last ten years, we continue to strive for further improvement. The safety of our customers remains our number one concern."