The Cost of Providing Service
As you have probably read or heard, the LIRR and the rest of the MTA must take immediate steps to make significant cuts to reduce costs. The MTA budget passed in December relied on a package of service cuts and reductions to administrative payroll to close a $383 million deficit. Since that time, an additional $378 million gap has developed this year based on revised State revenue projections. That’s why we at the LIRR are trying to ‘make every dollar count,’ as MTA Chairman Jay Walder has outlined.
Later this month, the MTA board is scheduled to vote on proposed service reductions following a series of public hearings. The service reductions were designed to cause the least amount of inconvenience to the least number of customers. To help our customers better understand the Railroad’s financial situation and proposed service reductions, the LIRR for the first time has made public a branch-by-branch breakdown of annual ridership and the cost of providing service. As is the case with virtually all public transit systems, the price of a LIRR ticket is significantly less than the actual cost of the ride, a shortfall that is made up almost entirely by government subsidies. That is true across all 11 LIRR branches.
The branches with the fewest customers are the most costly to run and - on a percentage basis - require the greatest subsidies.
For example, the Greenport Branch carried the fewest customers in 2009, a total of 69,986, generating $726,304 in revenue, while it cost the LIRR $6 million to operate. While the average fare is $10.38, the actual LIRR cost of providing a ride is $85.91 per customer, for a subsidy per ride of about $75.53. Fare box revenue - money collected from ticket sales - covers only 12% of the actual cost of running trains between Ronkonkoma and Greenport.
By comparison, the Babylon Branch is the LIRR’s busiest and generated more revenue in 2009 - $134 million - than any other line. Last year, it carried 19,682,188 passengers at an average ticket price of $6.81, but the actual cost of each ride on Babylon was $13.25. The subsidy per ride was about $6.44. Fare box revenue still only covered 51% of the actual cost of running trains between Penn Station and Babylon. Systemwide, the actual cost of a LIRR ride is $14.68. Yet, the average customer pays an average price of $6.46, only 44% of the total cost.
For the complete branch-by-branch breakdown, please go to the visit our website.
St. Patrick’s Day Service
St. Patrick’s Day (Wednesday, March 17), we will be providing extra service, both pre-parade westbound and post-parade eastbound trains. even extra AM-westbound trains including 3 Babylon Branch; 2 Port Jefferson Branch; and 2 Ronkonkoma Branch. Eight extra PM eastbound trains are: 3 Babylon Branch; 3 Port Jefferson Branch; 1 Port Washington Branch; and 1 Far Rockaway. We hope you enjoy your St. Patrick’s Day ... and suggest that you -- Be smart, save money, and avoid long lines when returning ... by getting roundtrip tickets before boarding. AND - please remember that NO alcohol will be allowed on LIRR trains that day.
Long Beach - No Service March 20/21 and 27/28
Long Beach Branch customers should mark the weekends of March 20/21 and 27/28 … when buses will replace all train service between Long Beach and Valley Stream while two bridges are reconstructed. You will be able to access the special schedules on our website. An icon of a bus will appear on the cover of the bright orange timetables. Look for them at the stations that are affected. We thank you in advance for your patience and understanding while we complete this important modernization project.
Take The Train To The Game
Monday, April 5, 1:10 PM … mark the date and time on your calendar … it’s Opening Day for the Mets against Florida’s Marlins. We believe that the trains, subways, and buses are still the best ways to get to the game, and we’ll be adding some extra service for the home opener.
The 2010 Census: Vital to Your Future
In March 2010, more than 130 million addresses across the nation will receive a census questionnaire. One of the shortest census forms in history, the 2010 Census questionnaire asks 10 questions and takes about 10 minutes to complete. Completing your census questionnaire is easy, important and safe, and your participation is essential to ensuring a brighter tomorrow for our community. Required once every 10 years by the U.S. Constitution, the census will count every person living in the United States, both citizens and noncitizens. Census data directly affect how more than $400 billion per year in federal funding is distributed to state, local and tribal governments. Most importantly, census data is critical in determining locations for new hospitals, improving schools, building new roads, expanding public transportation options and creating new maps for emergency responders. Help create a better future for you and those important to you by completing and returning your form when it arrives. To learn more, visit 2010census.gov.
Monthly On Time Performance
February’s blizzardy winter weather left us with an On Time Performance (OTP) total of 93.75%. We hope and expect to do better than that in March.
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