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Wednesday, April 23, 2014
LIRR extends station waiting room hours
Railroad cites effort to improve customer service
Donovan Berthoud/Herald
LIRR President Helena Williams, along with Mayor Francis Murray, left, and other officials, at the announcement.

The Long Island Rail Road and the Long Island Railroad Commuter’s Council recently announced that the waiting room hours at the Rockville Centre train station and 40 others have been extended as part of an ongoing effort to improve customer service.

The announcement was made at the Rockville Centre LIRR station on Oct. 3. According to the railroad’s president, Helena Williams, the station waiting rooms — including those in Rockville Centre, Baldwin and Island Park — will remain open until 10 p.m. on weekdays, long past their midafternoon closings in the past.

The extension is an expansion of a pilot program, started earlier this year, in which waiting room hours were increased at 20 stations, including Lynbrook, Oceanside and Valley Stream.

“By expanding the waiting room hours in this pilot program, we are looking to provide an added level of customer service,” Williams said. “We realize that our customers are traveling our system at all hours of the day.”

According to Williams, the LIRR closely monitored the conditions at the 20 stations included in the original pilot program and determined that the extended hours did not result in vandalism or the need for additional cleaning. “By making the waiting rooms available for greater periods, customers have the convenience of waiting for trains out of the elements,” she said. “We’ve been working closely with the LIRR Commuter’s Council on this issue, and we appreciate their input.”

The council was created by the State Legislature in 1981 to represent LIRR riders, and is made up of 12 volunteer members appointed by the governor on the recommendation of county executives and borough presidents.

“We are pleased that the railroad has responded to the needs of its riders, who are increasingly traveling the system in afternoon and evening hours and relying on connecting services to reach their destinations,” said LIRRCC Chairman Mark Epstein. “This is a significant step forward to provide all riders with a safe, clean and convenient place to await the next leg of their trips.”

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