The editorial "LIRR's Cannonball train suffers pains of success" [Aug. 26] is right on the mark. The demand for public transit to the East End, as well as for commuting within the East End, is undeniable. Not only would such increased service benefit the economy, it would reduce the number of cars on the traffic-choked local roads.
These roads have become increasing unsafe. They were never meant to handle the current volume of traffic. It was decided long ago that new East End highways are not feasible. The answer lies with underutilized rail lines that could expand public transit.
Newsday suggests a second track from Sayville to Montauk. I couldn't agree more. Such a track would add the service necessary to get tourists and second homeowners out of their cars and onto the train to reach the East End. But it would do much more. That second track also would make regular shuttle trains possible from Patchogue to Montauk on the South Fork, and from Ronkonkoma to Greenport on the North Fork. These regular shuttle trains would benefit year-round East Enders who now commute to work by car.
Not only that, the Suffolk Transit bus service could then be reconfigured and coordinated with the shuttle trains to move people from the train stations to the commercial and job centers on the East End. This would give East End residents the opportunity to get out of the "trade parade" that clogs County Road 39 and the Sunrise Highway each morning and afternoon.
The viability of such shuttle service was proved by a 2009 Volpe National Transportation Systems Center study. We only need the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Long Island Rail Road to make it happen.
Assemb. Fred Thiele, Sag Harbor
Editor's note: The writer represents District 2 in the State Assembly.
After reading "LIRR: Don't cram the Cannonball" [News, Aug. 21], I became annoyed at the lack of the facts about why things are the way they are.
First, the Long Island Rail Road fails to meet the needs of its everyday commuters, never mind weekend or house-share East Enders. The LIRR takes cars from other trains to accommodate these weekenders. As a result, you have people crammed in aisles and sitting on stairs on other trains, which makes the problem more widespread.
What this tells us is that people would take trains anywhere on the Island rather than drive, and our infrastructure is insufficient. What do you say we start discussing an air train or monorail down the center of the Long Island Expressway?
Michael Scherer, Huntington Station
Simple solution, not costly: Treat all oversized baggage just as the airlines do. Just add another set of cars to each train, and have baggage attendants take the bags and provide tags to retrieve them at each station.
The only negative would be slight extra time to unload the bags at the four stations on the route. A fee could even be charged for this service.
Robert Epstein, Rockville Centre