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Senate leaders to host LIRR hearing Friday


State Senate Democrats announced Monday that they would hold a public hearing Friday to question the Long Island Rail Road management about current conditions and problems of the public transit network.

Set for 3 p.m. at the Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building, at 1550 Franklin Ave. in Mineola, the hearing comes after elected officials have repeatedly called for reform, citing poor service, dangerous conditions at train stations, equipment failures and delays.

The hearing will be led by State Sen. Tim Kennedy, chairman of the Transportation Committee, and Sen. Leroy Comrie, chairman of the Corporations, Authorities, and Commissions Committee. It is the second meeting to address commuters’ concerns with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The first was held in New York City on Feb. 19.

“It is clear that significant improvements need to be made in order to sustain these aging systems, and we’re committed to addressing these issues and working collaboratively to find solutions,” Kennedy, a Democrat from Buffalo, said in a statement.

During the first public hearing, Kennedy said, he and other elected officials listened to the concerns and priorities of LIRR riders as well as the transportation agencies’ management.

“Long Island Rail Road riders deserve a sane and dignified commute,” State Sen. Todd Kaminsky, a Democrat from Long Beach, said in a statement. “For far too long, Albany abandoned its oversight responsibilities and has not demanded accountability. With our hearings, we will finally begin to hold MTA officials accountable and ensure riders get the commute they deserve.”

Kaminsky is no stranger to the fight for LIRR reform. Last September, he called for a reform of the railroad, and released a poll that showed that the majority of LIRR users in Long Beach and other areas were dissatisfied with MTA service. In May 2017, he hosted a “rally for a sane commute” that was attended by hundreds of commuters in Rockville Centre.

To submit a question for LIRR representatives at the hearing, contact nichols@nysenate.gov. —Compiled by Bridget Downes