Letter From The President
After one year as President of the LIRR, I am pleased with the progress we are making in the areas I consider the most important: Safety, Security and Service Reliability.
From mitigating the gaps between our trains and platforms, to using all of the tools at our disposal to communicate with our customers and neighbors about safe behavior, we are focused on keeping you safe and secure. I'm sure you've heard our celebrity announcements and seen our award-winning Be TrainSmart campaign. Those posters and announcements are just two of the ways we have reached out to all of you with safety suggestions and tips.
As for Service Reliability, or On Time Performance (OTP), I am very proud and pleased to report that the first half of 2008 has been full of success, and that we set a new OTP mark for the first six months of the year at 95.56%, passing the old record of 94.99% that was set in 2002.
Our efforts to provide you with more and better information have taken several forms, from Message Boards in Penn Station, to improvements in our Customer Email notifications, to establishing a 24-hour Public Information Office, to providing our train crews with cell phones so that they can report and/or receive the most pertinent information available. We'll be expanding our message boards to include the Flatbush Avenue Terminal and Jamaica Station in the near future.
While our focus on these basic requirements will never diminish, I want to assure you that I am also looking ahead to our long-term needs. I realize that we must move to modernize and improve our Railroad, and we are in the process of doing so with ambitious projects such as providing service to Grand Central Terminal and reconfiguring our tracks in Jamaica. When completed, both of these projects will provide you with better and more efficient service.
We're working to make the LIRR better ... and we will continue to do so.
Helena E. Williams - President
Dump The Pump
Recently, MTA Executive Director and CEO Elliot Sander and LIRR President Helena Williams marked National 'Dump the Pump' Day at the LIRR's Rockville Centre station, reminding all New Yorkers that they can avoid high gasoline prices by using mass transit - the affordable and environmentally friendly alternative.
In order to dramatize the message, MTA and local officials 'dumped' a decommissioned service station gasoline pump. "People often say that the suburbs are car dependent," said Sander, "but thanks to the rail and bus services provided by the MTA, that's not true in our region."
"She needed help ... and that's what she was going to get from me." That's how Assistant Conductor Eugene Chino explained the part he played in rescuing a woman who was screaming for help at our station in Freeport earlier this month. First alerted by a customer, he was joined by Collector Lorraine Martinez, and MTA Police officers Kevin Smith and Michelle Russo. Chino climbed down onto our tracks to halt what police said was a sexual assault in progress. He and Martinez used their new LIRR crew-cell phones to coordinate with the Engineer, Brian Zaderecki, and Conductor James Gannon. In commending all those involved for their courage and quick response, MTA Police Chief Michael Coan noted that this was a case where " ... people heard and then saw something ... then said something ... exactly the kind of teamwork we need."
Port Washington Track Work
Due to necessary drainage work, buses and vans will replace trains between Great Neck and Port Washington on the weekends of July 19-20, August 2-3 and August 16-17; special timetables are available. Westbound buses/vans will be departing Port Washington, Plandome and Manhasset up to 25 minutes earlier than normal train service in order to allow for connections to trains at Great Neck. We apologize for the inconvenience this important work will cause for our customers.
Be TrainSmart On Escalators
The 5th phase of our public service courtesy and safety campaign focuses on how to safely navigate the escalators at our stations. Please follow the advice to "Watch Your Step!" when using these quick and convenient tools. Pay attention, hold children by the hand, and don't take your safety for granted. Help us keep you safe - Be TrainSmart. Tune In To Safety!
Want to have some refreshing water-themed fun with the family? Try taking them to the Splish Splash Water Park in Riverhead. Metro New York's largest family water park has been voted one of America's top 5 water parks, and you can use the LIRR and a shuttle bus service at Ronkonkoma Station to get there. Buy before boarding, because the packages are not sold on our trains. For details, please visit our website or call 718-217-5477.
That Middle Seat
Yes, the trains have three-seaters
Dear friends, it has always been thus
So when only the middle one's empty
Don't grouse, don't whimper, don't fuss.
Don't call and don't write
To say you can't sit
Cause the fit Is a little bit tight.
Do a favor for your feet
And use that middle seat.
They sit there, empty
And must be confused.
While customers stand ...
They go unused.
June was another stellar month ... at 95.22% ... our best On Time Performance (OTP) ever for the month of June. The previous best was set in 2003 (94.9%). At this year's halfway mark we have registered the best 'first six months' OTP in the Railroad's history.
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