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MTA may rent LIRR stations to restaurants

A file photo of the Port Jefferson LIRR

A file photo of the Port Jefferson LIRR station. (July 16, 2009) Credit: James Carbone

Sometime this year, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority wants to rent out Long Island Rail Road stations to private retail stores and restaurants, a published report says. 

The LIRR has shuttered some stations, replacing ticket-sales counters with ticket machines as a cost-cutting move. As of last year, Newsday has reported, only 27 of the LIRR's 124 stations have staffed ticket windows.

The Wall Street Journal's commercial real estate blog on Tuesday said the MTA is moving on Westchester locations first. It's "aiming to turn some of Westchester County's oldest train stations into new dining and retail hot spots."

The Journal's story, titled "Retail Opportunity on Rails," says, "the MTA this week is planning to put stations in Peekskill, Tarrytown, Ossining and Port Chester on the rental market. Bids for the buildings are due next month. The MTA also said it wants to offer additional stations for rent across Westchester and Long Island in the coming year."

The report says, "There's just one catch: Those who run the stations will have to agree to keep serving commuters their daily coffee during the morning rush."

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