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Deucey

MTA on Freedom Ticket: "What had happened was..."

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10 hours ago, Deucey said:

Multitasking is not (MTA)'s forte. THAT'S A PROBLEM.

You got that right. I don't see what the summer of hell has to do with it. I guess they figured they couldn't measure how well it would do, but I think it's time to get it up and running. A year behind schedule.... Ridiculous.

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Why are city residents waiting for the Freedom Ticket to take the LIRR?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, NY1635 said:

Why are city residents waiting for the Freedom Ticket to take the LIRR?

I don't understand your question.  This pilot program was supposed to have started some time ago. The reasons for it being brought up were outlined in the article.  Since it still isn't clear, the main reasons are below:

-Residents in numerous parts of Queens and Brooklyn lack subway access but have LIRR access. However, they don't use the stations because LIRR tickets are expensive, the stations aren't very accessible and the service isn't that frequent.  LIRR tickets do NOT provide transfers to the bus or subway, meaning added costs.

-Freedom Ticket looks to accomplish the following:

-Give riders in Queens and parts of Brooklyn another option aside from a long bus to subway commute or the express bus.  

-Give them a faster commute at a reasonable cost, and take some of the strain off of the subway.

I have a similar situation in my neighborhood, but the difference is we have shuttle buses that run to both of our Metro-North stations and our residents can afford the higher fares unlike the residents in Southeast Queens and areas in Brooklyn.  Someone in East New York is likely living under the poverty line and is not going to be able to afford the $200.00+ monthly ticket, PLUS a $121.00 Metrocard.  In my case, I sometimes spend over $400.00 a month between the express bus and Metro-North. That is very expensive for a poor person barely making say $20,000 - 30,000 a year.  However in households in my area that make three or four times that amount, it isn't a problem.

This isn't the first time this has come up though.  There has been an ongoing complaint from neighborhoods without subway access that they don't get their fair share of transportation compared to subway rich areas.  The City has tried to compensate by subsidizing express bus service, but some areas don't have express buses, so it's the bus to the subway or a difficult trip to an LIRR or MNRR station.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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2 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

You got that right. I don't see what the summer of hell has to do with it. I guess they figured they couldn't measure how well it would do, but I think it's time to get it up and running. A year behind schedule.... Ridiculous.

Had they done it during the Summer of Hell, they could've worked out the bugs and refined the program so when Hell ended, the full program would be roughly problem free.

Soft Launches FTW.

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1 hour ago, NY1635 said:

Why are city residents waiting for the Freedom Ticket to take the LIRR?

Integration.

 

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, Deucey said:

Had they done it during the Summer of Hell, they could've worked out the bugs and refined the program so when Hell ended, the full program would be roughly problem free.

Soft Launches FTW.

Well they (the (MTA)) complained at the very beginning about the cost of the program.  Given all of the other issues plaguing the system now, I don't think they see this as a priority, which is an issue.  It definitely should be.  Even with me being able to afford the higher fares, I have problems getting in on time.  This morning I opted for the express bus which never came, so I took the one after. After getting into Manhattan ok, there was a water main break basically crippling traffic, so I had to get off and take the subway, which was also delayed, but luckily I was able to get on. I was 40 minutes late to work, but it doesn't affect my paycheck either way... Basically a two hour commute... Now imagine someone who only has the bus to the subway as an option and is an hourly worker...  They not only may have to pay more to get to work, but they may also lose money as they are paid by the hour.  I will be taking Metro-North tomorrow, but the people that the Freedom Ticket looks to serve may not have that option due to the cost.  

It's interesting when you think about it though.  We're seeing a situation where our transportation system is falling apart and the only way to get around it is by spending more money to commute. The people that can afford Metro-North or Uber can work around the mess that is the subway and the buses.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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57 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

I don't understand your question.  This pilot program was supposed to have started some time ago. The reasons for it being brought up were outlined in the article.  Since it still isn't clear, the main reasons are below:

-Residents in numerous parts of Queens and Brooklyn lack subway access but have LIRR access. However, they don't use the stations because LIRR tickets are expensive, the stations aren't very accessible and the service isn't that frequent.  LIRR tickets do NOT provide transfers to the bus or subway, meaning added costs.

-Freedom Ticket looks to accomplish the following:

-Give riders in Queens and parts of Brooklyn another option aside from a long bus to subway commute or the express bus.  

-Give them a faster commute at a reasonable cost, and take some of the strain off of the subway.

I have a similar situation in my neighborhood, but the difference is we have shuttle buses that run to both of our Metro-North stations and our residents can afford the higher fares unlike the residents in Southeast Queens and areas in Brooklyn.  Someone in East New York is likely living under the poverty line and is not going to be able to afford the $200.00+ monthly ticket, PLUS a $121.00 Metrocard.  In my case, I sometimes spend over $400.00 a month between the express bus and Metro-North. That is very expensive for a poor person barely making say $20,000 - 30,000 a year.  However in households in my area that make three or four times that amount, it isn't a problem.

This isn't the first time this has come up though.  There has been an ongoing complaint from neighborhoods without subway access that they don't get their fair share of transportation compared to subway rich areas.  The City has tried to compensate by subsidizing express bus service, but some areas don't have express buses, so it's the bus to the subway or a difficult trip to an LIRR or MNRR station.

To add onto it, the branches in question that these tickets would affect in SE Queens are some of the least used ones in the system, so it's not like capacity is an issue.

Honestly, ticket prices across the LIRR and Metro-North wouldn't need to be so high if they replaced conductors with proof of payment and ticket inspectors the way they have it in Europe. If I had it my way, trips using two zones or less would be subway fare across the system, and any additional zones would be another subway fare.

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3 minutes ago, bobtehpanda said:

To add onto it, the branches in question that these tickets would affect in SE Queens are some of the least used ones in the system, so it's not like capacity is an issue.

Honestly, ticket prices across the LIRR and Metro-North wouldn't need to be so high if they replaced conductors with proof of payment and ticket inspectors the way they have it in Europe. If I had it my way, trips using two zones or less would be subway fare across the system, and any additional zones would be another subway fare.

I never agreed with crazy low fares, but I do agree with the need to reduce costs and replace the conductors. Most of the are rude and condescending anyway.

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3 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

I never agreed with crazy low fares, but I do agree with the need to reduce costs and replace the conductors. Most of the are rude and condescending anyway.

I guess I should elaborate a little bit more on the City part of things; I'd also split the City Terminal Zone in two, so that the Manhattan terminals are a separate zone from the Queens ones. So a trip from Jamaica to Penn is $2.75, a trip from Laurelton to Hunterspoint or Atlantic is $2.75, but a trip from Laurelton to Penn or GCT is $5.50. (I also think the express bus fare should be $5.50, given the original premise was to provide convenient, two-fare travel.)

The main problem with the LIRR is its commuter only setup. The LIRR runs things so inefficiently that if they tightened up operations, they could run all trains all-stop and it would be just as fast. Rip out the third seats that no one uses anyways, introduce hand grips on the chairs, and you have capacity. Retrain conductors as operators/engineers or inspectors and you maintain employment. It's a win-win.

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1 minute ago, bobtehpanda said:

I guess I should elaborate a little bit more on the City part of things; I'd also split the City Terminal Zone in two, so that the Manhattan terminals are a separate zone from the Queens ones. So a trip from Jamaica to Penn is $2.75, a trip from Laurelton to Hunterspoint or Atlantic is $2.75, but a trip from Laurelton to Penn or GCT is $5.50. (I also think the express bus fare should be $5.50, given the original premise was to provide convenient, two-fare travel.)

The main problem with the LIRR is its commuter only setup. The LIRR runs things so inefficiently that if they tightened up operations, they could run all trains all-stop and it would be just as fast. Rip out the third seats that no one uses anyways, introduce hand grips on the chairs, and you have capacity. Retrain conductors as operators/engineers or inspectors and you maintain employment. It's a win-win.

I think they're going to have to do more than just lower the express bus fare.  The (MTA) hasn't done anything to improve service. Scott Stringer's audit showed how bad service has become.  Since that audit, the only thing they've done is adjusted the schedules and added more run-time.  If a commuter now sees that their commute is now increasing by 20+ minutes one way, that is not going to encourage usage.  On top of that you're asking that commuter to continue to pay more and more every two years.  The same is true with the LIRR to some extent, with these never ending delays and it seems as if MNRR is starting to have problems too.  That's why I didn't take it this morning, fearing that there would be some issue due to the weather.

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17 minutes ago, N6 Limited said:

I wonder why Hollis and Queens Village wasn't included?

It's a short bus ride from Hollis and Queens Village to Jamaica, even shorter on the LIRR. The Main Line just need to stop at those stations instead of letting the Hempstead Branch alone serve those neighborhoods. Only Hicksville, Mineola, and Merrilon Ave tend to get high usage on the Main Line.

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5 hours ago, NY1635 said:

It's a short bus ride from Hollis and Queens Village to Jamaica, even shorter on the LIRR. The Main Line just need to stop at those stations instead of letting the Hempstead Branch alone serve those neighborhoods. Only Hicksville, Mineola, and Merrilon Ave tend to get high usage on the Main Line.

The rides are really no shorter than from Jamaica to St. Albans or Locust Manor.

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12 hours ago, NY1635 said:

It's a short bus ride from Hollis and Queens Village to Jamaica, even shorter on the LIRR. 

With what bus traffic that Hollis and Queens Village is close to Jamaica?

Last I checked Queens Village is no short ride to Jamaica during the day. Sorry 😐 but not sorry. Jamaica Ave has bad traffic issues during the day.  Try traveling down the Q83 route which covers both Hollis and Queens Village or the Q4 down Linden in Queens Village and Cambria Heights. 

12 hours ago, NY1635 said:

The Main Line just need to stop at those stations instead of letting the Hempstead Branch alone serve those neighborhoods. Only Hicksville, Mineola, and Merrilon Ave tend to get high usage on the Main Line.

These people on the main line will scream hell if their commute is reduced with local stops in Queens Village and Hollis. Those 2 stops will slow down the commute during rush hours. I'd say during mid-day and evening/late night for the main line to stop in Hollis and Queens Village   

Other times: It makes sense for the Hempstead line to cover those stations. (IMO) 

 

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2 hours ago, Future ENY OP said:

 

With what bus traffic that Hollis and Queens Village is close to Jamaica?

Last I checked Queens Village is no short ride to Jamaica during the day. Sorry 😐 but not sorry. Jamaica Ave has bad traffic issues during the day.  Try traveling down the Q83 route which covers both Hollis and Queens Village or the Q4 down Linden in Queens Village and Cambria Heights. 

These people on the main line will scream hell if their commute is reduced with local stops in Queens Village and Hollis. Those 2 stops will slow down the commute during rush hours. I'd say during mid-day and evening/late night for the main line to stop in Hollis and Queens Village   

Other times: It makes sense for the Hempstead line to cover those stations. (IMO) 

 

The only people in Queens Village who have the longest commutes are those waiting for the Q27 along Springfield Blvd. They have to wait 30-40 minutes for the 27 to show up while other routes go by on their way to Jamaica. I've taken the Q4 and the only thing wrong with it is the terminal on Linden and 234th because the traffic signal gives automobiles priority over pedestrians, which makes it hard for those trying to cross the street to catch the bus.

The factors slows down the buses in Queens Village and Hollis to Jamaica are the congestion on major streets like Hillside, Springfield, and Francis Lewis during rush hours. It's that and having buses use narrow side streets like 187th, 188th, or 212th just to reach Hillside so they can get people to the 179th Street (F). I find that Jamaica Avenue itself doesn't get congested until 168th Street, then it becomes a crawl thru the busy shopping center until Van Wyck. I get your point that Hollis and Queens Village have long commutes, but it's not as long when compared to someone further down SE Queens like Rosedale, the Rockaways, or even further east at by Floral Park who have 2hr long trips.

The people on the Main Line would be more upset at the fact that they're not getting the Freedom Ticket than their train making two extra stops, arguing it's not fair that people from Long Island have to pay high fares and low service for the railroad while City residents have buses, express buses, subways, and City Ticket on the weekends.  Traveling from points east of the Meadowbrook to the City via LIRR is generally agreed to be pretty long.

 

Edited by NY1635

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13 minutes ago, NY1635 said:

The only people in Queens Village who have the longest commutes are those waiting for the Q27 along Springfield Blvd. They have to wait 30-40 minutes for the 27 to show up while other routes go by on their way to Jamaica. I've taken the Q4 and the only thing wrong with it is the terminal on Linden and 234th because the traffic signal gives automobiles priority over pedestrians, which makes it hard for those trying to cross the street to catch the bus.

The factors slows down the buses in Queens Village and Hollis to Jamaica are the congestion on major streets like Hillside, Springfield, and Francis Lewis during rush hours. It's that and having buses use narrow side streets like 187th, 188th, or 212th just to reach Hillside so they can get people to the 179th Street (F). I find that Jamaica Avenue itself doesn't get congested until 168th Street, then it becomes a crawl thru the busy shopping center until Van Wyck. I get your point that Hollis and Queens Village have long commutes, but it's not as long when compared to someone further down SE Queens like Rosedale, the Rockaways, or even further east at by Floral Park who have 2hr long trips.

The people on the Main Line would be more upset at the fact that they're not getting the Freedom Ticket than their train making two extra stops, arguing it's not fair that people from Long Island have to pay high fares and low service for the railroad while City residents have buses, express buses, subways, and City Ticket on the weekends.  Traveling from points east of the Meadowbrook to the City via LIRR is generally agreed to be pretty long.

 

If Long Island wants express bus service, let the counties PAY for it.  It's bad enough that the people from Westchester and Long Island cross the city border to use our express buses that WE subsidize (not them), but then they have the audacity to act like LIRR and MNRR trains are OFF limits to those of us who live in suburban areas of the city.  Talk about freaking nerve.  If it wasn't for us City folks paying the high taxes that we do to subsidize MNRR and the LIRR, your LIRR ride would be even more expensive than it is.  The reason that Long Island doesn't have express bus service in most areas is because the counties are too damn cheap to pay for it.  I'll go further in saying that people that move to Long Island and Westchester should make up their mind about what they want.  Either they want to live in the city and have CITY services, or you move to the suburbs and get what you get out there.  The suburban commuters want their cake at the City's expense. Hypocrites...

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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1 hour ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

If Long Island wants express bus service, let the counties PAY for it.  It's bad enough that the people from Westchester and Long Island cross the city border to use our express buses that WE subsidize (not them), but then they have the audacity to act like LIRR and MNRR trains are OFF limits to those of us who live in suburban areas of the city.  Talk about freaking nerve.  If it wasn't for us City folks paying the high taxes that we do to subsidize MNRR and the LIRR, your LIRR ride would be even more expensive than it is.  The reason that Long Island doesn't have express bus service in most areas is because the counties are too damn cheap to pay for it.  I'll go further in saying that people that move to Long Island and Westchester should make up their mind about what they want.  Either they want to live in the city and have CITY services, or you move to the suburbs and get what you get out there.  The suburban commuters want their cake at the City's expense. Hypocrites...

The city needs to do it's part by advertising the LIRR and express buses to city residents in order for the Freedom Ticket to work. Right now the mayor is content with letting developers build condos around subway stations and feed more people onto the overcrowded trains. I doubt DeBlasio would ever sell the idea of the Freedom Ticket unless there's a promise of Avalon themed apartments at East New York and Nostrand Avenue near both LIRR stations.

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7 minutes ago, NY1635 said:

The city needs to do it's part by advertising the LIRR and express buses to city residents in order for the Freedom Ticket to work. Right now the mayor is content with letting developers build condos around subway stations and feed more people onto the overcrowded trains. I doubt DeBlasio would ever sell the idea of the Freedom Ticket unless there's a promise of Avalon themed apartments at East New York and Nostrand Avenue near both LIRR stations.

The city is already doing its part by subsidizing the express buses and LIRR.  It's the (MTA) that should be doing their part to advertise the Freedom Ticket.  What the city should do is contribute more for expanded express bus service and add more bus lanes to make the service more efficient.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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On 1/8/2018 at 1:22 PM, bobtehpanda said:

I guess I should elaborate a little bit more on the City part of things; I'd also split the City Terminal Zone in two, so that the Manhattan terminals are a separate zone from the Queens ones. So a trip from Jamaica to Penn is $2.75, a trip from Laurelton to Hunterspoint or Atlantic is $2.75, but a trip from Laurelton to Penn or GCT is $5.50. (I also think the express bus fare should be $5.50, given the original premise was to provide convenient, two-fare travel.)

The main problem with the LIRR is its commuter only setup. The LIRR runs things so inefficiently that if they tightened up operations, they could run all trains all-stop and it would be just as fast. Rip out the third seats that no one uses anyways, introduce hand grips on the chairs, and you have capacity. Retrain conductors as operators/engineers or inspectors and you maintain employment. It's a win-win.

The LIRR would want Jamaica in your "$5.50" zone to milk riders going to the Airtrain etc. from Manhattan, etc.

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On 1/10/2018 at 8:11 PM, NY1635 said:

It's a short bus ride from Hollis and Queens Village to Jamaica, even shorter on the LIRR. The Main Line just need to stop at those stations instead of letting the Hempstead Branch alone serve those neighborhoods. Only Hicksville, Mineola, and Merrilon Ave tend to get high usage on the Main Line.

...which would result in overserving those stations.... Immensely.

11 hours ago, NY1635 said:

The people on the Main Line would be more upset at the fact that they're not getting the Freedom Ticket than their train making two extra stops, arguing it's not fair that people from Long Island have to pay high fares and low service for the railroad while City residents have buses, express buses, subways, and City Ticket on the weekends.  Traveling from points east of the Meadowbrook to the City via LIRR is generally agreed to be pretty long.

The same people on the Main Line that were so accepting of having their trains stop at an employee only station? Yeah right.... Ronkonkoma branch pax in-particular, to this day, hate the fact that their trains stop at a major station like Hicksville & (the select trips that do so at) Mineola on top of it - and that is by no means a new phenomenon either....

But these are supposed to be the same people that wouldn't be that upset at stopping at QV & Hollis? Freedom ticket be damned.....

13 hours ago, Future ENY OP said:

Last I checked Queens Village is no short ride to Jamaica during the day. Sorry 😐 but not sorry. Jamaica Ave has bad traffic issues during the day.  Try traveling down the Q83 route which covers both Hollis and Queens Village or the Q4 down Linden in Queens Village and Cambria Heights.

Yeah, that ride on the Q36 b/w LIRR QV & 179th (F) is slow as hell, regardless of time of day.... Same deal w/ the Q110 b/w LIRR QV & Parsons.....

Edited by B35 via Church
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Maybe I'm the only one who saw the big picture years ago. My friends and relatives in Queens have known for years that the LIRR has been cutting back service within the borough for a generation. Stations have had their service cut back or eliminated entirely. There are people who argue that the residents weren't utilizing certain stations but IMO if you only provide infrequent peak direction service that's a self-inflicted problem. When a bus that runs every hour or so during the weekday provides more service to Jamaica or Hillside Avenue is there any doubt why ridership tanked ? A lot has to do with changing demographics but when the LIRR started using MU consists of 10 and 12 cars one of the reasons given for bypassing or eliminating stops was because some stations were too close together therefore negating the increased speed the MU cars brought to the table. On the Ronkonkoma Branch alone there were three stations eliminated in the last 30-35 years. Grumman, Republic, and Pine-Aire, although there's been talk of re-opening Republic/Rt 110. The reasoning behind the closings were distance between stations and changing demographics. Some of you surface fanners who venture into Suffolk County know how busy the Brentwood station is, with it's connections to three or four SCT bus lines. When that line was electrified eastward to Ronkonkoma the Brentwood station was eliminated in the plans. Same reasoning was given for the intended closure. Just so happened the Brentwood assemblyman was chairman of the transportation committee, so I've been told, so the elimination never took place. The funny part of the argument was that trains were supposed to bypass Brentwood, running from Deer Park nonstop to Central Islip. Guess what ? The Deer Park LIRR station is not in Deer Park but in Edgewood (a part of Brentwood). The LIRR has been shedding station stops in Queens for years. They consider it a hassle. I've actually heard people employed by the (MTA) say that the boroughs should be a NYCT operation. In other words the LIRR is geared toward Nassau and Suffolk, not NYC. Is it any wonder why the " Freedom Ticket" isn't talked about more often? People on the Ronkonkoma Branch don't want the train to stop at Mineola, for God's sake. A major transportation hub and a hospital.  Look no further than the plans for the Atlantic Branch. That's what I see. I may be wrong but this is what I've observed through the years. Carry on

Edited by Trainmaster5
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50 minutes ago, Trainmaster5 said:

Maybe I'm the only one who saw the big picture years ago. My friends and relatives in Queens have known for years that the LIRR has been cutting back service within the borough for a generation. Stations have had their service cut back or eliminated entirely. There are people who argue that the residents weren't utilizing certain stations but IMO if you only provide infrequent peak direction service that's a self-inflicted problem. When a bus that runs every hour or so during the weekday provides more service to Jamaica or Hillside Avenue is there any doubt why ridership tanked ? A lot has to do with changing demographics but when the LIRR started using MU consists of 10 and 12 cars one of the reasons given for bypassing or eliminating stops was because some stations were too close together therefore negating the increased speed the MU cars brought to the table. On the Ronkonkoma Branch alone there were three stations eliminated in the last 30-35 years. Grumman, Republic, and Pine-Aire, although there's been talk of re-opening Republic/Rt 110. The reasoning behind the closings were distance between stations and changing demographics. Some of you surface fanners who venture into Suffolk County know how busy the Brentwood station is, with it's connections to three or four SCT bus lines. When that line was electrified eastward to Ronkonkoma the Brentwood station was eliminated in the plans. Same reasoning was given for the intended closure. Just so happened the Brentwood assemblyman was chairman of the transportation committee, so I've been told, so the elimination never took place. The funny part of the argument was that trains were supposed to bypass Brentwood, running from Deer Park nonstop to Central Islip. Guess what ? The Deer Park LIRR station is not in Deer Park but in Edgewood (a part of Brentwood). The LIRR has been shedding station stops in Queens for years. They consider it a hassle. I've actually heard people employed by the (MTA) say that the boroughs should be a NYCT operation. In other words the LIRR is geared toward Nassau and Suffolk, not NYC. Is it any wonder why the " Freedom Ticket" isn't talked about more often? People on the Ronkonkoma Branch don't want the train to stop at Mineola, for God's sake. A major transportation hub and a hospital.  Look no further than the plans for the Atlantic Branch. That's what I see. I may be wrong but this is what I've observed through the years. Carry on

No you are spot on. LIRR riders on Long Island really have the attitude you described, but we're supposed to be okay with them coming over the county border specifically to use our local buses, subways and express buses.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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There’s a joke amongst fan circles that the LIRR considers itself the Manhattan and Ronkonkoma Railroad. All one has to do for corroboration of inadequacy in service on non-main line lines is to look at the timetable for service to Greenport, Montauk, Port Jefferson, West Hempstead...oh wait I’m naming almost all of the LIRR’sbranches. Oops. Since we’re definitely grading on a curve, they all pass now (because the rest of the transit universe is fake news, right LIRR? You’re special. We get it. You make your own rules. 1 train every four hours is absolutely adequate service).

@Trainmaster5 I’ve heard the exact same thing from folks there. 

What the LIRR needs is some subway-ification. Trains running at regular intervals on predictable routes (no more we’ll make every third stop except for the 9th which we’ll skip and the 17th which is our terminal, and no more every route to every terminal) all across its service area. You could also increase capacity/reduce delays at Jamaica like that. If you thought Broadway or Rogers were bad re merging take a gander at that complex......and scream. 

Edited by RR503

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