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mark1447

Poll: 49% rate LIRR as good or excellent

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Nearly half of Long Islanders think Long Island Rail Road service is good or excellent, despite enduring a year that included major service disruptions, deep service cuts and another fare increase, according to a Newsday/Siena College Research Institute poll.

 

Of more than 800 Long Island residents surveyed, 40 percent rated LIRR service as good, while another 9 percent called it excellent. Ten percent called LIRR service poor. Among regular LIRR riders, 44 percent said that service was good, while 14 percent said it was excellent. Fifteen percent of regular riders rated LIRR service as poor.

 

Asked for the single most important action the Metropolitan Transportation Authority could take to improve LIRR service, two answers among regular riders effectively tied for first. "Do a better job of notifying riders of service problems" was the choice of 28 percent of regular riders polled; 29 percent said "improve on-time performance."

 

Among all people surveyed, including those who rarely or never take the LIRR, the need to better notify riders about service problems was the most common response.

 

The poll of 804 registered voters was conducted by telephone on Dec. 12-15 and Dec. 18-19. Twelve percent of respondents said they ride the railroad at least once a week. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

 

The LIRR's showing in the poll is a testament to the "loyalty of the rider," said Mark Epstein, chairman of the LIRR Commuter Council.

 

"They want to think positively of their railroad," Epstein said. "I think that's good news for the railroad."

 

 

 

Railroad's response

 

LIRR president Helena Williams noted that 85 percent of poll respondents who were regular riders rated LIRR service fair to excellent. The railroad's own customer satisfaction surveys, which she said include a more targeted and wider sample, "show overall satisfaction to be even higher.

 

"LIRR ridership has shown an increase in each of the last three months, which is the most important single indicator that Long Islanders continue to view the railroad as critical to the Island's economic strength," Williams said in a statement Monday. "We look forward to providing service in 2012 without any service cutbacks or fare increases on the immediate horizon."

 

The Siena Research Institute's director, Don Levy, said the poor showing of the LIRR's communication efforts -- even among those who don't typically ride the trains -- speaks to the agency's perception problems, and the need to change its reputation.

 

"That would be your potential growth area, because you'd like to turn these people who rarely use the railroad to frequent riders," Levy said.

 

Williams said the LIRR has been working to address complaints about how to keep customers more informed. The railroad is spending $3.5 million next year on communications improvements, fixing glitches in the electronic bulletin system on station platforms, and adding staff to a central information office "so that all communications with customers are now coordinated from one central office staffed around the clock," she said.

 

Retired air traffic controller Susan Rose, a poll respondent, rode the LIRR just once in the past several years, but still chose communication with customers as the area most in need of improvement.

 

"The things I've heard about is like when they had the major electrical problems and people were scattered all over the place and they weren't giving people good information about what the heck was going on," said Rose, 58, of East Meadow. She was referring to the September lightning strike at Jamaica Station that crippled service for hours.

 

 

 

Don't want to pay more

 

But while many Long Islanders want better service from the LIRR, most say they wouldn't pay more to get it, according to the poll. When poll respondents were asked if they would support or oppose higher fares to address reliability, cleanliness and overcrowding, 68 percent said they would be against paying more. Among regular riders, 78 percent opposed fare increases to address problems.

 

"We're paying a . . . fortune for the privilege of riding the Long Island Rail Road. Enough. People have it tough," said Ed Cohen, of Baldwin, an LIRR commuter for 40 years. "Just make it work. Let them cut some of the fat."

 

One area in which the MTA drew overwhelming support was its policy of shutting down parts of the LIRR and the city subway system when a major blizzard is forecast. Of all those surveyed, 64 percent supported the policy. Among regular riders, 65 percent think the plan is a good one.

 

Epstein said he hopes the LIRR takes the survey to heart, particularly when it comes to areas in which the railroad could show improvement.

 

"It's definitely eye-opening," he said of the poll results.

 

Poll/Source (Newsday Account required)

 

Poll: 49% rate LIRR as good or excellent

 

POLL List: http://i42.tinypic.com/302zais.jpg

 

(Posted the entire article for those who dont have a Newsday account)

Edited by mark1447
Added Pole link.

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I do like the LIRR except for the cost.

 

My biggest gripe is not even twds LIRR but more Amtrak. Since they share tracks, I notice when it breaks down, its all goes downhill fast. There appears no margin for error for that tight schedule thru the east tunnel. So the most common is train breaking down in there which causes the whole system to go into disarray.

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I do like the LIRR except for the cost.

 

My biggest gripe is not even twds LIRR but more Amtrak. Since they share tracks, I notice when it breaks down, its all goes downhill fast. There appears no margin for error for that tight schedule thru the east tunnel. So the most common is train breaking down in there which causes the whole system to go into disarray.

 

That's what ESA is suppose to help out with, so LIRR will have its own station.

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Added a link to the poll numbers.

 

That's what ESA is suppose to help out with, so LIRR will have its own station.

 

Not its own station, its own platforms. MNCRR is also going to be using GCT with LIRR.

 

I wouldn't imagine the capacity of the station increasing.

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