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LIRR misleading 'on-time' data

People wait to board a Long Island Rail

People wait to board a Long Island Rail Road train on Jan. 3, 2020, at Penn Station. Credit: Craig Ruttle

The Long Island Rail Road saying its on-time statistics are the best in three years is far from honest. Here is what it neglected to mention: Service is adversely impacted due to canceled trains resulting from periodic power outages, and signal, broken rail and other problems. We end up with a shortage of equipment. Riders end up with two scheduled trains combined into one sometimes with added cars. Commuters have to deal with overcrowding and standing in the aisles.

Any train arriving within 600 feet of a Penn Station platform or other final destinations within 5 minutes, 59 seconds is considered “on time.” For many LIRR commuters who have to arrive at work on time, their bosses would not be happy.

The LIRR definition of “on time” is like a teacher giving students a passing grade by rigging the results.

Larry Penner, Great Neck

Editor’s note: The writer worked 31 years for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration Region 2 New York office.   

On-time statistics that are not based on “real time” are a bad joke. The LIRR counts as on-time trains that arrive in less than six minutes of a destination’s scheduled time. Six minutes can mean a bigger delay in getting to your final destination. Six minutes can be the difference between making a subway connection or having to wait 20 minutes for the next train — or a 20- to 30-minute delay of your NJ Transit connection. In Japan, if a train is five minutes late or more, its passengers are issued certificates they can show at work or school as a reason for being late.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority needs to stop perpetuating mediocrity.

Ron Troy, East Northport 

Trump, Schumer and Dershowitz

Sen. Chuck Schumer should ask the question: Does he apply fairness to all [“Trump actions ‘noncriminal’,” News, Jan. 20]?

Why in 1998 did he vote with other House Democrats (while he campaigned for the Senate) to not impeach President Bill Clinton for lying under oath, and now, with less reason, to lead Senate Democrats against President Donald Trump in his impeachment trial?

I was an air traffic controller who trained people who took no-strike oaths, but with bad union leadership they lost their jobs for striking. I also served in the Korean and Vietnam wars with those who gave life and limb under oath to serve.

No, Sen. Schumer, you are not the fairest of them all.

William Adams Littell, Moriches 

Alan Dershowitz, the Harvard University law professor and a respected authority on the law, apparently lost his mind when he claimed that abuse of power is not impeachable. Here is the presidential Oath of Office:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Abuse of the powers granted the president by the Constitution is, to use a theological term, the “original sin” of impeachable offenses, because by definition, the president is saying that the limits placed on presidential power by the Constitution do not matter. It is, therefore, a violation of the clause in the Oath of Office to “preserve, protect, and defend” the Constitution.

One does not need to be a Harvard law professor to understand that basic principle, but one would expect that a Harvard law professor would.

Leonard Cohen, Wantagh

The nightmare begins.

No matter what evidence is brought forth in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, the Senate’s Republican members will refuse to open their eyes to the facts, to the abuse of the Constitution and to our welfare. The Senate will permit a disdainful liar to proceed to dismember our institutions, values and lawful practice. When the Senate acquits him, we’ll be one giant step closer to autocratic rule.

Gus Franza, Setauket

  

Matt Davies, how about a cartoon with Sen. Chuck Schumer’s statements from February 1999 [Editorial cartoon, Jan. 21]?

He said: “It has shaken me that we stand at the brink of removing a President — not because of a popular groundswell to remove him and not because of the magnitude of the wrongs he’s committed — but because conditions in late 20th century America has made it possible for a small group of people who hate Bill Clinton and hate his policies to very cleverly and very doggedly exploit the institutions of freedom that we hold dear and almost succeed in undoing him.”

Just substitute “Donald Trump” for “Bill Clinton.” It’s kind of hypocritical.

Or: “If you had asked me one year ago if people like this with such obvious political motives could use our courts, play the media and tantalize the legislative branch to achieve their ends of bringing down the President, I would have said ‘not a chance’ — that doesn’t happen in America.”

Joseph Cesare, Copiague 

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