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Why doesn’t the Long Island Rail Road fix chronic problems?

Commuters at Penn Station wait for train service

Commuters at Penn Station wait for train service to resume on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, after the Long Island Rail Road suspended service into and out of Penn Station for 90 minutes during the height of Wednesday morning's rush hour. Credit: Charles Eckert

Why doesn’t the LIRR seek solutions?

At 7:20 p.m. on a recent Monday, I found myself again a prisoner of the Long Island Railroad.

After leaving Penn Station more than an hour earlier, I was trapped in Queens. My hungry stomach was giving the karaoke performance of its life.

As a full-time worker in Manhattan, I’m accustomed to delays in the morning and evening. What I do not find normal is a monthly ticket averaging almost $400, conductors remaining silent when delays occur, and air conditioning that does not work properly.

The LIRR is America’s busiest commuter line, but it never seems willing to find solutions to its recurring problems. Why not delve into its signal problems and find a way to fix them?

Bridget Geerlings, Babylon


July 25’s rain was severe, so it was to be expected that the race home would be fierce, and mass transit would be stressed. What I didn’t anticipate was the LIRR’s failure to handle the situation.

I got to Penn Station shortly before 6 p.m., and trains east of Jamaica were already being delayed by signal troubles. Fine, it’s an electrical storm, things happen. Still, though, all the signals? My train was still departing on time so, I got on. What a sophomoric decision.

Around 6:20 p.m., the train stopped outside of Kew Gardens. The conductor announced that service on the Port Washington Line was suspended because of a downed tree, Long Beach service was interrupted because of downed utility pole, and there was no service on the West Hempstead branch.

The LIRR cannot be held accountable for nature, but why did it put us on a train knowing that the system was stalling? I could have stayed at Penn or gone back to my office. Also, the LIRR wants to increase its infrastructure, but can’t run what it has? It’s rain. There’s no contingency for this?

Tom Rice, Valley Stream


Repeal New York’s bottle-can deposit law

Officials in Albany should eliminate the nickel deposit on bottles and cans. It’s an obsolete law from an era before recycling was widespread.

The requirement, enacted in 1982, is no longer necessary, not when recyclable garbage is picked up weekly, and the public is well aware of the consequences of filling landfills with products made with plastics. We already fear toxins that infiltrate the earth and poison our water supply, and we avoid throwing out those products with biodegradable garbage.

In addition, the law has morphed into a quality-of-life issue. Aggressive scavengers scour the streets to gather recyclables. They push shopping carts bloated with oversized bags, oblivious to drivers trying to navigate around them. When the bottles and cans await pickup, the scavengers rummage through garbage cans, knocking them over and causing a ruckus.

Neal Gordon, Long Beach