MTA poll looks at reopening Elmhurst LIRR station


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com |

THE COURIER/Photo by Rosa Kim
THE COURIER/Photo by Rosa Kim

Local elected and transit officials pushed for the reopening of the LIRR Elmhurst station.

BY ROSA KIM

Transit officials are surveying Elmhurst residents to determine the viability of reopening the shuttered LIRR station at Broadway.

The station, between Cornish and Whitney Avenues, closed in 1985 due to a decrease in ridership, officials said.

But since then, the community’s residential and commercial population has increased.

“When this station closed, people thought Elmhurst was done and over with,” said Councilmember Daniel Dromm. “Now, we’re seeing the revitalization of this community.”

Congressmember Joseph Crowley said reopening the station would spur economic growth and modernize the city.

“Reopening the Elmhurst station would increase residents’ access to both midtown Manhattan as well as Long Island,” he said. “It would help create jobs and provide an economic boost to many small businesses in the community.”

The mail-in survey asks residents within a half-mile radius of the station 10 questions to gauge potential ridership.

The questions cover how often respondents travel to Manhattan, how they usually get there and their likelihood of choosing to ride via LIRR.

Transportation Alternatives executive director Paul White said the station would bring first-rate transit service to Elmhurst.

If the Elmhurst LIRR station existed, commuters could expect a travel time of 15-16 minutes to get to Penn Station during morning peak hours, according to MTA spokesperson Salvatore Arena.

Officials expect the fare during peak hours would be around $8, and $5.75 during off-peak hours.

The review process of the potential $30 million project began last year with a walking tour of the neighborhood and a town hall meeting where the response was “tremendous,” according to MTA LIRR president Helena Williams.

“There are many issues that need to be carefully evaluated as part of this process, but the response has been positive so far,” she said.

The MTA expects to have a good sense of potential ridership by the end of the year, though no decisions will be made until 2015, Williams said.

 

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