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Letter: Look to Europe for LIRR model

A Long Island Rail Road conductor holds the

A Long Island Rail Road conductor holds the doors on an eastbound train at the Hicksville LIRR station (July 19, 2010) Photo Credit: KEVIN P. COUGHLIN

When you board a commuter train in most European countries, you slip your ticket into a turnstile via a system not dissimilar from the MetroCard system used for the New York City subway. There are no conductors on board. Europe's system is tight and efficient.

The savings that would result over time from the Long Island Rail Road changing to this system -- eliminating salaries, benefits, pensions, disability claims, etc. -- would benefit the public greatly by allowing for lower commutation ticket costs, which have skyrocketed out of control.

It is, after all, a "public transportation system" that should serve for the public as a whole, versus the small minority who are chasing a 20-year pension.

Rick Meuser, Huntington Station

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