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Study: Port Jeff LIRR Branch Has Most Delays

A new study of Long Island’s trains has culminated in a “Laggy” win by the Port Jefferson Branch of the Long Island Rail Road, which runs through Mineola. The “Laggy” awards were given this month to branches of the LIRR with the greatest lost economic productivity, delay per rider and lost time, as a tongue-in-cheek way of getting additional capital investment in local rails from state legislators.

 

 “LIRR’s frequent delays truly add up to lost economic productivity and commuter time over the course of a year,” said Ben Rosenblatt, the research fellow for the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, who conducted the analysis. “In fact, estimates of total lost productivity are greater than last year’s profits of some of Long Island’s largest companies, such as VOXX International, Nathan’s, and 1-800 FLOWERS.”

 

Disruptions in service on the Babylon, Ronkonkoma and Huntington branches contributed the most to lost productivity, according to Rosenblatt. However, the Port Jefferson line, along with the Montauk and Ronkonkoma, provided the greatest levels of delay per rider. 

 

Delays over the course of one year added up to 22.3 hours for each rider. Tri-State used MTA-provided ridership, on-time performance, and other lateness, termination, and cancellation data, along with 2010 Census-derived income assumptions regarding the value of lost time, to develop the Laggy award methodology. 

 

While the awards identify branches, the actual recipients of LIRR funds are New York State’s elected officials who approve funding for the system and are responsible for ensuring dedicated transit funds make their way to the MTA system and are not diverted to other uses.

 

“As discussions begin on how to fund the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s 2015-2019 Capital Program begin in a few months, it is imperative that Long Island’s elected officials in both the New York State Assembly and Senate identify the funding needed to ensure the Long Island Rail Road is in a state of good repair,” said Ryan Lynch, associate director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign. “Not doing so will only continue to negatively impact the Island’s economy and put further strain on regional and local businesses.”

 

The report called on Governor Cuomo and Long Island’s state elected officials to fully fund the 2015-2019 MTA Capital Program.

 

“When you waste folks’ time it really is death by a thousand cuts,” said Eric Alexander, executive director of Vision Long Island. “In order to provide efficient transportation options for people, the current LIRR rail system and operations needs strategic investment and upgrades.”

 

The study found the total lost economic productivity due to late, canceled and terminated trains on the Long Island Rail Road from July 2012 through June 2013 was $60,760,661. 

 

Planning for the next capital program of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, of which LIRR is a subsidiary agency, will begin this fall. 

News

Senator Jack Martins discussed education, business and drug use among other topics in a an exclusive interview with this newspaper and FiOS 1 News. He’s currently seeking re-election in November, being challenged by Democrat Adam Haber. Pointing to what he called “key legislation,” particularly the tax cap legislation passed in 2011 and prescription drug bill he helped shepherd to enactment, Martins feels New York State is on track to continue fiscal responsibility.

 

“In these last four years, we’ve had four balanced budgets, we’ve cut taxes working together, we have paid off debt, streamlined government, kept spending below 2 percent each one of those years,” Martins said.

A contingent of 80 Mineola runners embarked on their first trek to lower Manhattan last year for the Tunnel To Towers 5K Run through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel toward the World Trade Center site. This year, the United Mavericks, a networking group of local business people that support local charities and causes, are gearing up surpass that number.

Mavericks reps say they’re half way to gathering 1,000 people to run in the event’s 13th year on Saturday, Sept. 28.

 

The run honors a fireman Stephen Siller, who was enjoying a day off planning to play golf before he learned the Twin Towers were hit by two airplanes during the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. He was one of the 343 firefighters who died when the towers collapsed.


Sports

Though it had already hosted the series of lacrosse games during the regular season this past spring, Chaminade High School’s new Gold Star Stadium was officially christened on Saturday, Sept. 6, named in honor of the 56 alumni who had perished during combat.

 

“Tradition holds that when one dies in the service a gold star is given to the family,” said Chaminade President Bro. Thomas Cleary. “Our 56 Gold Star Alumni are honored for their selflessness, courage, and integrity.”

Although the expectations for the 2014 Mineola Mustangs boy’s varsity soccer season may be somewhat measured, the team enters the season with the goal of a berth in the Nassau County playoffs. The team is young and inexperienced but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

 

There is considerable talent on the horizon. There are only four starting seniors and five sophomores on the roster. Four year starting senior forward Daniel Pardo returns (19 goals in three seasons) as does senior standout goalkeeper Andrew Pereira.


Calendar

Town Zoning Meeting - September 17

International Night - September 18

Bereavement Support Group - September 19


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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