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OpinionLetters

Just Sayin’: End use of LIRR conductors

A conductor checks a ticket on the Ronkonkoma

A conductor checks a ticket on the Ronkonkoma line. Photo Credit: Newsday / Bill Davis

As a peak afternoon Long Island Rail Road train slowly moved away from Manhattan recently, I watched a conductor stand in a vestibule — not moving, not attempting to check tickets, not providing any additional services.

What was the value here?

In fairness, there wasn’t much room to move, but how many fares went uncollected? How many people would use their tickets another day, costing the LIRR other fares? How much was the conductor paid for taking a train ride? How often does this happen, magnifying the effects of this one ride?

That last question I can answer. Often.

It’s 2018. It’s the age of driverless cars and unmanned trains. Why does the LIRR still have conductors? At what cost to commuters and the system?

Transit systems such as Seattle’s rail network show that a high-volume, multi-zone system can be automated with minimal human interaction all while holding customers accountable.

It’s time to end the use of conductors, and focus on saving the commuter time and money.

Tom Rice, Valley Stream

Why is Cuomo fixing Puerto Rico’s problems?

Almost six years later, we’re still reading about people on Long Island suffering from the effects of superstorm Sandy. At the same time, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is leading groups to Puerto Rico to help people there who are still suffering from the devastation of Hurricane Maria. He returned from another trip earlier this week.

While this is a worthy cause, isn’t he obliged to take care of the people who elected him first? Where is the outrage?

Rich Corso, Oceanside

I get it, our governor had to fly to Puerto Rico to see what is going on down there. This was his fourth visit, and I feel sorry for all of those people. We all know it is an election year and he needs the votes, but he won’t get mine. Long Island’s infrastructure is awful.

Recently, I bounced over at least 50 poorly paved or patched parts of state Route 231, Deer Park Avenue, between North Babylon and Deer Park. We recently drove out to Bellport on state Route 27, Sunrise Highway. Good heavens, it is terrible. These road patches are jaw-breaking. I think we rattled a few bolts loose.

Get with the program, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. Visit us, and take a ride on these roads to see what we put up with. Look at your own state and fix things here.

Diane Duguid, Deer Park

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