Senator Todd Kaminsky hosted a “Rally for a Sane Commute” at the Rockville Centre LIRR station. Over 100 LIRR commuters joined by a bipartisan group of elected officials rallied against the unprecedented delays and cancellations riders have faced, and called for Amtrak to relinquish control of Penn Station.
“Today we sent a strong message to Amtrak: LIRR riders will not be ignored,” said Senator Todd Kaminsky, who organized the rally. “Penn Station is a disaster, and riders are sick and tired of the constant, unprecedented delays and cancellations. Commuters will keep fighting until they get the quality of service they deserve. It is time to sack Amtrak.”
“Amtrak has let Penn Station fall apart under its watch--and the testimony from Amtrak executives Thursday gave New Yorkers no reason to believe that the unacceptable state of the station will improve,” said Senator Todd Kaminsky. “Amtrak has essentially admitted that there is a safety and infrastructure debacle at Penn Station and that it could not effectively deal with the crisis. Long Island commuters pay far too much to be treated like second class citizens. They have been ignored, but today, their voices were heard loud and clear.”
Senator John Brooks: “It is absolutely absurd that week after week, the more than 300,000 daily LIRR commuters are left stranded due to mismanagement and chaos at Penn Station. Long Islanders deserve better. Something has to give -- whether it be Amtrak relinquishing control to a third party or the state-- what we know to be true is that the current situation has proven disastrous. Significant change must take place to restore dignity to Long Islanders' commute.”
Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages: "As a Long Island State Legislator that consistently travel to our State’s capitol via Long Island Railroad and Amtrak, I see first hand the frustration commuters have with Pennsylvania Station. Our commuters deserve better. I stand with Senator Todd Kaminsky and other local officials calling for expedited solutions without disruption to Long Island riders.”
Assemblyman Brian Curran: “I was glad to stand with my partners in government against the inept and non-responsive Amtrak. Our residents deserve better. I thank Senator Kaminsky for organizing this rally and look forward to delivering real change for our neighbors.”
Jack Schnirman - Long Beach City Manager: “Long Beachers need to rely on the LIRR to get to work, home, and bring revenue to local business each summer. And that's why the Long Beach City Council joins the call to demand the same stronger and smarter infrastructure for the LIRR that we are building in Long Beach.”
Senator Todd Kaminsky has led the fight for improving the LIRR service. His letter to legislative leadership led to Assembly hearings during which Amtrak and MTA officials have testified. He has spoken up against the increase in LIRR fares while performance has declined, and challenged the MTA Director in Senate hearings on the poor state of several stations in his district.
You can view his questioning of the MTA Director here, and the letter is attached above.