Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (8th Senate District) today served as acting chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee’s public hearing to examine the problem of gap size (space between the platform and the train) at LIRR stations.
"We can’t wait for another tragedy before finding a solution to this problem, and the MTA needs to move as quickly as possible to ensure the safety of LIRR passengers," said Senator Fuschillo. "This hearing allowed us to hear from officials why this issue has not yet been resolved, what steps they have already taken, and see what other options exist, so that we can continue moving forward in getting this problem corrected."
MTA Chairman Elliot Sander, LIRR Acting President Raymond Kenny, and Metro-North Railroad President Peter Cannito all testified about the corrective action plan that is currently underway to improve safety conditions and reduce the number of gap-related accidents.
Engineers who worked on the "gap filler project" for the New York City subway system offered testimony about what steps could be taken to reduce the gap size at LIRR stations. Ellyn Shannon of the LIRR Commuter Council also offered testimony.
Merrick resident Judy Heefner, whose niece, Natalie Smead, was killed by a LIRR train after falling through the gap at the Woodside Train Station, also spoke to the committee at the hearing.
Senator Fuschillo was joined at the hearing by Senator Dean Skelos (9th Senate District), Senator Carl Marcellino (5th Senate District), Senator John Sabini (13th Senate District), and Assemblyman Dave McDonough (19th Assembly District).
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