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Letter: LIRR should cater to customer

Long Island Rail Road officials said they did

Long Island Rail Road officials said they did not set aside enough space to fit federally mandated crash-prevention equipment into the railroad's next generation of trains -- an error that could cost more money and delay the new trains' arrival. Credit: Howard Schnapp

I read with interest Patrick Nowakowski's agenda for his second year as president of the Long Island Rail Road ["Working on the railroad," News, June 23].

After four years of riding the LIRR, I think it's comparable to most Third World transportation systems. From the boarding conventions at Penn Station, which are like a Black Friday sale crowd at a discount store, to the unintelligible speaker systems in the cars -- a combination of poor equipment and lack of diction by the staff -- the experience leaves me cold.

I can fly out of Kennedy Airport tomorrow and know the gate where my flight is leaving, because it is assigned today. Why do I have to cluster in Penn Station until 10 minutes before departure to locate my train?

The cheapest auto comes with cup holders; why can't an expensive rail car? And how about some trash receptacles in the cars?

Nowakowski says Wi-Fi on trains is a waste of money. News flash: Most riders would appreciate the ability to connect and work or entertain themselves on their journeys.

While most successful businesses have turned to customer-centric metrics, it seems the LIRR is stuck in a "we know what everyone needs" mode of strategic planning.

Mike Weir, Patchogue