(Long Beach, New York) — In a Long Island Rail Road (“LIRR”) survey of over 560 commuters launched by Senator Todd Kaminsky, respondents registered extreme dissatisfaction with the timeliness, quality, and value of train service. Kaminsky asked commuters about their current LIRR service and dependability, with the vast majority of commuters surveyed giving dismal ratings for their LIRR experiences. The results from Senator Kaminsky’s survey show that only 18% of riders are satisfied with their LIRR experience, a stark departure from the LIRR’s own poll where they claim that 77% of riders are satisfied. Further, only 13% of riders feel that they get their “money’s worth” from their LIRR commute.
“Long Island Rail Road commuters pay a lot of money for a poor, unsafe and unreliable ride,” said Senator Todd Kaminsky. “This survey is an important step to acquire a firsthand view of what is really going on at the LIRR. Commuters feel that they are paying far too much for poor service, dangerous conditions and an uncomfortable ride. The MTA would have us believe through their shoddy statistics that everything is okay, but these results tell quite a different story. In Albany, I will continue to hold the LIRR accountable and ensure they hear my constituents’ message loud and clear: the time for LIRR reform is now.”
Senator Kaminsky and members of his staff surveyed riders at stations within the 9th Senate District, including Baldwin, Long Beach, Lynbrook, Malverne, Oceanside, Rockville Centre, Valley Stream,and Woodmere, as well as was online. Commuters were asked to rate several aspects of the LIRR’s service on a ten-point scale, and were also afforded the ability to make specific comments about the railroad:
Tessa from East Rockaway: “The LIRR has a responsibility to keep their customers up to date to the minute and we're constantly in the dark about what's going on with delays, even when on the train - conductors say nothing. Feels unsafe and irresponsible. The train bathrooms are almost always out of order. The floors of the trains look as if they get cleaned, maybe, once a month. Taking the LIRR to work is the bane of my existence and recently caused me to have a breakdown. I worked home for 3 months to get over it. I can't believe I pay $300 a month for their services.”
Chris from Hicksville: “They display total incompetence on a near daily basis. They also continue to operate in unsafe conditions. Penn Station platforms are a continuous fire/safety hazard during rush hour. I wonder what will happen on a crowded train in an emergency situation when the aisles are blocked with people.”
The survey is available here: https://goo.gl/forms/i4BfEPOhCALQ7RwH3. Graphs and analysis of the survey’s results are enclosed below.
Senator Kaminsky has led the fight to provide relief to Long Island commuters. He held a rally, attended by scores of people, to “Sack Amtrak.” He also twice penned letters to legislative leadership requesting they hold emergency hearings on conditions at Penn Station. In response, the Assembly held hearings during which Amtrak and MTA officials testified, disclosing new, actionable information. He has repeatedly spoken out 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. Senator Kaminsky was the sole Long Island Senator to question MTA Chairman Joseph J. Lhota at the Legislative Budget hearing about the LIRR’s performance in January 2018.