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Long IslandTowns

LIRR sets ridership record for second straight month, agency says

For the second consecutive month, the Long Island

For the second consecutive month, the Long Island Rail Road set a six-year ridership record, the agency announced on Monday, Sept. 22, 2014. Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin

For the second consecutive month, the Long Island Rail Road set a six-year ridership record, the agency has announced.

LIRR president Patrick Nowakowski said at a meeting of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s LIRR Committee on Monday that the 7.6 million people the LIRR carried in July was the most in any month since July 2008.

June’s ridership of 7.5 million had also been the highest since October 2008. August ridership climbed 4 percent compared with August 2013.

“We had a real good summer on the South Shore, with service out to the Hamptons and Montauk,” Nowakowski said. “It continues to be a good news story for us.”

Nowakowski also said that, for the second summer in a row, the LIRR sold out seats on its Hamptons Reserve service to Montauk on Friday afternoons.

He noted that the six-year record was set despite “a work stoppage hanging over everyone’s head.” LIRR unions had threatened to go on strike on July 20, but reached a new contract agreement.

After carrying 87.4 million people in 2008 -- the most ever -- the LIRR lost riders over the next three years, in part because of job losses related to the economic collapse, officials have said. But ridership has steadily increased since 2012. Last year, the railroad carried 83.4 million riders -- more than any other commuter railroad in the country.

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