The Long Island Rail Road this week launched a new campaign promoting its proposed $2 billion Main Line third-track project, which it says would benefit “hundreds of thousands of commuters.”
The campaign, announced Wednesday, includes a YouTube video of LIRR customers describing their commuting problems and how a third track could relieve them.
“If I miss just one train, I’m at least an hour and a half late for work,” a Manhattan reverse commuter, identified only as “Raymond,” said on the video. “Just one extra train would change my life.”
Project officials say the third track would provide much-needed capacity along the 9.8-mile, two-track stretch of the Main Line between Floral Park and Hicksville, through which 40 percent of the railroad’s commuters travel each day.
In a statement, Metropolitan Transportation Authority interim Executive Director Veronique Hakim said that, because of the “interconnected nature of the system,” problems on the two-track section of the Main Line can cause delays through the entire LIRR system.
“The region will never reach its full potential with a transit bottleneck like this in place — it’s just not sustainable and it must be fixed,” Hakim said.
Floral Park Mayor Thomas Tweedy, who opposes the third track, called the new informational campaign a “puff PR piece,” and said the LIRR should instead “address the needs of those who will be impacted.”
Tweedy and other elected officials from communities along the LIRR’s Main Line plan to hold a news conference Friday in New Hyde Park where they are expected to call on the LIRR to provide more details on the third-track plan. The officials all have opposed the third-track proposal, which they say would bring prolonged construction that would disrupt businesses and residents’ quality of life.
Meanwhile, a group of pro-third track elected officials, including Westbury Village Mayor Peter Cavallaro, are planning their own news conference Friday to speak in support of the project.