Tag Archives: Long Island Rail Road

MTA fare and toll hikes take effect Sunday


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ File Photo

MTA commuters will need to pay more to ride trains and buses beginning this Sunday, as the transit agency implements the 4 percent fare and toll hikes it approved in January.

The base fare for all New York City subway and local bus rides along with Paratransit/Access-a-Ride trips will go up a quarter, from $2.50 to $2.75. Express bus fares will climb 50 cents from $6 to $6.50 per trip.

Unlimited MetroCards will also cost more, with 30-day cards climbing from $112 to $116.50 and 7-day cards rising from $30 to $31. Transit riders who use Pay-Per-Ride MetroCards will receive an 11 percent bonus when they purchase or add at least $5.50 to their cards. The MTA will also continue its $1 surcharge for all new MetroCard purchases.

Meanwhile, Long Island Rail Road tickets will also increase by an average of about 4 percent. One-way off-peak trips between Penn Station and points in Zone 3 in Queens will rise from $7 to $7.25; one-way peak tickets will cost $10. CityTicket fares for one-way weekend travel within the city will climb to $4.25.

Additionally, the LIRR is eliminating “stop-overs,” in which customers who purchase one-way or round-trip tickets can exit the train at another stop, then re-board later in the day using a single ticket.

Drivers will also feel the pinch of higher tolls at the MTA’s bridges and tunnels taking effect this Sunday. One-way car trips across the Robert F. Kennedy, Whitestone and Throgs Neck bridges and the Queens-Midtown and Hugh L. Carey tunnels will cost $8 cash or $5.54 for E-ZPass holders.

Car tolls to cross the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial or Cross Bay Veterans Memorial bridges will also increase to $3.25 cash or $1.73 for E-ZPass holders. Discounts continue to be available for residents in Broad Channel and the Rockaways.

It will also become more expensive to cross the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, as the one-way toll for cars will jump to $16 cash or $11.08 for E-ZPass holders; tolls are only collected from westbound traffic.

For further details, visit the MTA’s website.

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Community demands improvements at Elmhurst LIRR overpass


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Angy Altamirano

Elmhurst residents and their elected officials are demanding that the city clean and maintain a pedestrian bridge above Long Island Rail Road tracks that they say is deteriorating, dirty and often dangerous.

Local elected officials and community leaders gathered earlier in December to tour the pedestrian bridge that connects two separate sections of 55th Avenue, one of which turns onto 85th Street and the other that becomes a dead end near Haspel Street.

The group toured the overpass with Long Island Rail Road and Sanitation officials to discuss the conditions and demand immediate improvements be made at the site.

According to Christian Cassagnol, district manager of Community Board 4, the problems most residents have voiced concerns about include graffiti, lack of sufficient lighting, safety overnight and dirty conditions.

Residents and members of CB 4’s environmental committee regularly gather to clean up the site, Cassagnol said, but there is only so much that could be done on a local level. He decided to contact Councilman Daniel Dromm’s office in the hopes of finding a better solution.

Rosemarie Daraio, president of the nonprofit Communities of Maspeth & Elmhurst Together Inc. (COMET) Civic Association, added that some other issues include illegal dumping, weeds overtaking the site, and deteriorating and uneven steps.

Days before the Dec. 15 walk-through, the city’s Department of Sanitation showed up and did a cleanup.

“This site must be cleaned and made safe for pedestrians,” said Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, who was part of the group that toured the overpass.  “There is no substitute for an on-site visit to see conditions firsthand.”

According to Stavisky, she and Dromm will continue to monitor the issue.

“Quality-of-life issues are vitally important to the growth, strength and happiness of the community,” Dromm said.

Cassagnol plans to work with local leaders on trying to implement the Greenstreets program at the site, also known as the Green Infrastructure Program, which works to transform areas into green spaces.

“It’s an issue we are going to have to constantly monitor,” Daraio said.

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Plan calls for return of Elmhurst LIRR station


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

The wheels of the LIRR might soon be making a stop once again in Elmhurst — or at least in the next five years.

In the MTA’s 2015-2019 $32 billion Capital Program, released earlier this week, $40 million is being set aside to construct a new Long Island Rail Road station on the Port Washington Branch.

“A new Elmhurst station will provide commuter railroad service to this vibrant community,” the MTA said in the five-year plan said.

The proposed station elements include two new 12-car platforms, staircases, platform railings, platform shelters, ticket vending machines, lighting, communication and security systems, and site improvements, according to the capital plan.

There will also be elevator service at the Elmhurst station, which will be part of the Port Washington line.

In 2012, Councilman Daniel Dromm and US Rep. Joseph Crowley called on the Long Island Rail Road to reopen the station, which was located on Broadway between Cornish and Whitney avenues and was closed in 1985 due to low ridership, to meet the needs of the neighborhood’s growing population.

Last year, LIRR officials conducted a month-long survey to see if it made sense to bring the station back to the community,

Dromm said that although he finds this plan as a positive development, he still views it as just a proposal.

“Seeing the line item of $40 million for the LIRR Elmhurst stop in the MTA’s capital budget is a longtime coming and much welcomed development,” Dromm said. “However, this capital budget should be seen as a wish list. These projects are not currently fully funded nor approved by the state. I will continue to advocate for this stop, which would cut down commutes and help Elmhurst residents get to where they need to go with greater speed. I hope the MTA will turn this wish from the community into a reality.”

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Cuomo steps into MTA, LIRR union negotiations


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo


Gov. Andrew Cuomo joined negotiations between the MTA and Long Island Rail Road union officials just days before a looming strike deadline.

“The possible LIRR strike would be highly disruptive to the people and economy of Long Island, Cuomo said. “The parties returned to the negotiating table yesterday morning at my request. Late yesterday, when the conversations had not been fruitful, I began participating in them directly. Those conversations proceeded until late into the night.”

Both sides were scheduled to meet at the governor’s Manhattan office at 10 a.m. Thursday to continue discussions, according to Cuomo.

“Time is very short. We are less than 48 hours from the point at which the railroad would commence closing procedures. I want to make sure I have done everything I can possibly do to avert a strike,” he said.

LIRR union lead negotiator Anthony Simon was optimistic that a deal could be reach before the 12:01 a.m. Sunday strike deadline now that Cuomo has joined the negotiation table, Newsday reported.

“He’s ready to get this resolved,” Simon said, according to Newsday.

 

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Looming LIRR strike draws closer, Congress won’t intervene


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Sara Touzard


The potential for a Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) strike is moving full steam ahead as talks over wages between the eight unions representing workers and MTA officials continue to stall, and Congress said it won’t intervene.

The MTA began putting out ads in newspapers, television and radio outlets, as well as on its website and social media, to alert riders of the potential strike, which could occur as early as July 20.

MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast met with Congress members on July 9, following a failure in discussions with the National Mediation Board, but the lawmakers reportedly said it is “unlikely” that they would step in if a work stoppage occurred.

About 5,400 workers are planning to walk off the job, which would leave 300,000 riders stranded from Long Island, throughout Queens and other boroughs.

The MTA is planning “very limited,” weekday shuttle bus service to start within 24 to 48 hours of any strike, the agency said. But it warned, “Shuttle bus service should be your last resort.”

“We continue to hope that we can avoid a work stoppage at the bargaining table,”  Prendergast said. “But nevertheless, we want LIRR customers and all Long Island residents to be aware that there is a potential for a disruption of service and what that might mean.”

The MTA’s latest offer in June was for a 17 percent raise in wages, stretched over the next seven years without a change in pension. But the unions maintain that they want 17 percent raises over the next six years.

“[Prendergast] should be here in New York with the labor organizations, [not in Washington],” Anthony Simon, the lead labor negotiator, told the New York Times. “What is the chairman of the MTA doing 250 miles away from the solution?”

Governor Andrew Cuomo called for both sides to return to the bargaining table, after Congress members said they won’t step in.

“A strike is just not an option and would be a terrible failure by both the unions and the MTA,” Cuomo said. “The unions’ false belief that Congress would step in to mandate a settlement was a major impediment to any real progress. With this obstacle removed, it is now clear that the only path to resolution is at the bargaining table between the MTA and the unions, and they should proceed in good faith.”

 

 

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MTA granted eminent domain powers for Flushing LIRR project


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo rendering courtesy of the MTA

The MTA has been given eminent domain powers to move forward with a long-awaited plan to upgrade the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) station in Flushing.

The agency’s board voted Jan. 29 to approve the potential use of eminent domain to acquire a one-story building at 40-36 Main St., currently owned by Ou Jiang City Supermarket, an MTA spokesperson said.

It may be a necessary measure in order to continue with a plan to reconfigure the Flushing-Main Street station’s east and westbound entrances.

“We’re hoping not to have to take that step,” said MTA spokesperson Aaron Donovan, adding that a State Supreme Court judge in Queens would still need to sign off on the use. “We are hoping to negotiate with the building owner to arrive at a way to acquire that property.”

The MTA wants to construct elevators and wide staircases to make platforms more visible and handicapped accessible — a plan long welcomed by local leaders.

“The LIRR’s Main Street facility was built in the 1950s and is in dire need of an upgrade,” said Councilmember Peter Koo.

Koo said he has received multiple complaints from elderly and disabled riders of the station’s dim lighting and lack of accessibility.

Dian Yu, executive director of the Flushing Business Improvement District, said the “hideous” blight has also become a nightmarish “dumping ground” for garbage.

“Our community has had to deal with these terrible conditions for way too long,” Koo said. “I’m glad this train is finally pulling out the station.”

Design work is underway, and construction is slated to begin in 2015, Donovan said. It is unclear when the project is expected to end.

The station is not expected to be impacted during morning and evening rush hour commutes, Donovan said, but there may be temporary closures during off-peak hours.

The project was expected to cost $8.5 million in 2012, MTA-LIRR President Helena Williams previously said. MTA officials now say the project’s budget is under review.

 

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Far Rockaway teen busted for anti-Semitic graffiti at LIRR station


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of MTA Long Island Rail Road

A Far Rockaway teen has been arrested for defacing the Cedarhurst Long Island Rail Road station with anti-Semitic graffiti on eight occasions, the MTA said.

Jonathan Schuster, 18, has been charged with felony criminal mischief in the third degree as a hate crime, criminal mischief in the fourth degree and making graffiti, according to MTA police.

A senior at Priority-1:Torah Academy of Lawrence-Cedarhurst, a yeshiva located in the town, Schuster allegedly committed the acts starting in December 2012. He is accused of using a black marker to write anti-Semitic statements, which usually contained expletives, on platform advertising billboards, police said.

His arrest comes after a year-long investigation that included uniformed patrols and surveillance by undercover detectives, according to the MTA. A wanted poster was also issued last month and a reward was offered for any information leading to the perpetrator’s arrest. Tips lead detectives to Schuster who allegedly confessed to the crime, police said.

Since December 2012, there have been 11 incidents in which anti-Semitic graffiti was scrawled on advertisements at three Long Island Rail Road stations in the Five Towns area of Nassau County, including the eight at Cedarhurst station, three at Lawrence station and one at Hewlett station, authorities said.

MTA Police are continuing to investigate the other incidents.

 

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MTA service changes for Martin Luther King Jr. Day


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

On Monday, Jan. 20, the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday, there will be the following MTA service changes, according to the transit agency.

New York City Subway, Buses and Staten Island Railway

On Monday, Jan. 20, the city’s subway and Staten Island Railway will operate on a regular weekday schedule.

The city’s buses will operate on a weekday schedule with minor timing changes except for Staten Island, where Limited Stop routes S81, S84, S86, S90, S91, S92, S94, S96 and S98 will not operate. Weekday local service will operate along those routes. Limited stop routes S89 and S93 will operate on weekday schedules with minor timing changes. All Staten Island, Brooklyn and Queens “X” express routes will operate on weekday schedules with minor timing changes.

Long Island Rail Road

LIRR will operate on a holiday schedule with 32 extra trains to and from Penn Station. Off peak fares will be in effect all day. Because it is a holiday schedule, there will be no service on the West Hempstead Branch and no service between Ronkonkoma and Greenport.

The departure and arrival times of the extra trains can be found in current LIRR branch timetables under the columns marked “Note M.” The timetables can also be found on the MTA LIRR web site.

Metro-North Railroad

Metro-North Railroad will operate on a Saturday schedule with 36 additional trains as indicated in the current Harlem, Hudson and New Haven Line timetables. Off peak fares apply all day.

Extra New York City-bound trains during the morning and northbound in the late afternoon will be provided.

There are 15 extra trains on the New Haven Line, nine inbound and six outbound.  There are three extra Hudson Line trains, two inbound and one outbound, and 14 extra Harlem Line trains, seven in each direction.

Special Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday timetables listing all trains are posted online at the Metro-North’s schedules page.

All additional trains will be included in Metro-North Train Time™ app for iPhone and Android as well as on the CooCoo text messaging service.

The uptown exits of Grand Central North will be closed all day.

 

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Man fatally struck by LIRR train at Woodside station


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Cristabelle Tumola

Updated 3:45 p.m.

A man was hit and killed by an LIRR train Tuesday night in Woodside after the train’s engineer saw him jump in front of the locomotive, an MTA spokesperson said.

An 11:35 p.m. train heading from Penn Station to Babylon struck the man, identified as Pawel Nierodzinski, 32, while the train was pulling into the LIRR Woodside stop, the MTA said.

The train’s engineer said that as the train entered the station, he saw a man crouch down and leap in front of the train before it hit him, according to the spokesperson.

Several eastbound and westbound LIRR trains experienced up to 10 to 30 minute delays due to the incident, the MTA said.

About 2:50 a.m. regular eastbound service in Queens was restored, and by 3 a.m. all trains were on or close to schedule.

 

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MTA service for Christmas, New Year’s holidays


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

The MTA has issued the following service changes for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, from Tuesday, December 24 through Thursday, January 2:

Tuesday, December 24

The subway will operate on a regular weekday schedule. The Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad and Staten Island Railway will offer extra afternoon trains.

The Staten Island Railway will operate additional express service beginning two hours earlier, from 2:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. City buses will operate on weekday schedules with minor timing changes, except for Staten Island, where limited stop routes S81, S84, S86, S90, S91, S92, S94, S96 and S98 will not operate. Weekday local service will operate along those routes. Limited stop routes S89 and S93 will operate on weekday schedules with minor timing changes.

All Staten Island, Brooklyn and Queens “X” express routes will operate on weekday schedules with minor timing changes.

Wednesday, December 25

New York City subways and buses and the Staten Island Railway will operate on a Sunday schedule. The LIRR and Metro-North will operate on a special holiday schedules as noted in timetables.

Thursday, December 26, Friday, December 27, and Monday, December 30

Subways will operate on a regular weekday schedule. The LIRR and Metro-North will operate on a weekday schedules. Metro-North will offer additional inbound service operated in the late morning, and slightly reduced AM Peak service.

On Thursday, December 26, the Staten Island Railway will operate on a Monday schedule.

City buses will operate on weekday schedules with minor timing changes, except for Staten Island, where limited stop routes S81, S84, S86, S90, S91, S92, S94, S96 and S98 will not operate. Weekday local service will operate along those routes. Limited stop routes S89 and S93 will operate on weekday schedules with minor timing changes.

All Staten Island, Brooklyn and Queens “X” express routes will operate on weekday schedules with minor timing changes

Saturday, December 28

Metro-North will operate special service for the Rutgers vs. Notre Dame college football game at Yankee Stadium at 12:15 p.m., with a shuttle service between Grand Central, Harlem-125th Street and Yankees-East 153rd Street stations.

Tuesday, December 31

Metro-North and the LIRR will operate on modified weekday schedules with extra New York City-bound service in the evening and extra service departing New York City after midnight. For special LIRR service from the Billy Joel concert at Barclays Center, extra trains leaving Atlantic Terminal will be timed to depart starting 20 minutes after the concert concludes.

Metro-North will have slightly reduced service during the traditional rush hour periods.

Customers heading to Times Square for the celebration should avoid using the 42 St-Times Square subway complex, since they may not be allowed to exit onto the street. In addition, the northbound platform at the 50th St. 1 station, and both north and southbound platforms at the 49th St. N/Q /R station will be closed from 7 p.m. until after midnight. Riders are urged to exit at the 57th Sts or 59 St- Columbus Circle stations instead and walk to Times Square.

Buses are not recommended for traveling to Times Square because of the numerous street closures in the area. Regular overnight bus service will resume as streets reopen after midnight. Following the celebration, trains on lines in and around Times Square will run every 8 to 12 minutes until approximately 3 a.m. The 42nd Street shuttle will operate all night.

City buses will operate on weekday schedules with minor timing changes, except for Staten Island, where limited stop routes S81, S84, S86, S90, S91, S92, S94, S96 and S98 will not operate. Weekday local service will operate along those routes. Limited stop routes S89 and S93 will operate on weekday schedules with minor timing changes. All Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Queens “X” express routes will operate on weekday schedules with minor timing changes.

Wednesday, January 1

City subways and buses and the Staten Island Railway will operate on a Sunday schedule, with longer waits on some bus routes. The LIRR and Metro-North will operate on a special holiday schedules. Metro-North will provide hourly service on most line segments and regular weekend service on branch lines.

Thursday, January 2

On Thursday, January 2, the Staten Island Railway will operate on a Monday schedule.

 

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LIRR train hits, kills dog, injures owner near Woodside station


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

A dog was killed and his owner injured when a Long Island Rail Road train struck them east of the Woodside station Friday morning.

The man was walking his pet without a leash along the tracks around 10 a.m. when a westbound train originating from Great Neck hit the animal and grazed the owner’s hand, said an MTA spokesperson. He initially refused medical treatment, but was later taken to Elmhurst Hospital and treated and released.

Trains were delayed for about 45 minutes on the Port Washington Branch.

The owner was issued a summons for trespassing, said the spokesperson.

 

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Commuters angry about upcoming LIRR service cuts


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

The upcoming cuts to peak weekday Long Island Rail Road service in Bayside have left commuters outraged, yet the MTA said the brief inconvenience will result in long-term improvements.

From July 22 to August 16, the LIRR will cancel five rush-hour trains including the westbound 7:55 a.m. train from Little Neck and 8 a.m. train from Bayside to Penn Station. The cancellations are due to construction on the East Side Access mega-project in Sunnyside.

The cuts have left Austin Shafran, candidate for the City Council District 19, calling on the MTA to provide alternatives during the construction period that would leave commuters with a 46-minute gap between trains.

“The MTA’s unnecessary and irresponsible decision to cancel service will force even more people onto overcrowded trains, turning a difficult situation into a dangerous ride for commuters,” said Shafran, who began gathering signatures on Wednesday, July 17 to send to the MTA. “Northeast Queens is already a transit desert, yet facing the hottest month of the year, the MTA is further taking away vital access to mass transit that commuters rely on.”

In a letter to the MTA, Shafran suggested temporarily converting the 7:47 a.m. express train from Great Neck to a semi-express train stopping at Little Neck at 7:50 a.m. and Bayside at 8:01 a.m.

However, according to Aaron Donovan, MTA deputy director for external communications, the LIRR will provide a train 33 minutes earlier and 12 minutes later from the peak hour trains. He also said in the long run, the construction will help bring less congestion and delays.

“In the end, this will make things easier by providing a new destination in Manhattan on the east side under Grand Central,” said Donovan. “It will help decongest a very critical part of our railroad. The work associated with this track outage will help provide a new route so that Amtrak and the LIRR will no longer interfere with each other in Sunnyside.”

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

 TODAY’S FORECAST 

Monday: Overcast in the morning, then mostly cloudy. High of 55. Winds from the ESE at 10 to 15 mph. Monday night: Partly cloudy. Low of 41. Winds from the SE at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Marking Spaces: New York City’s Landmark Historic Districts 

The NYC Landmarks Preservation Law, enacted by then Mayor Robert Wagner on April 19, 1965, protects the city’s architecturally, historically and culturally significant buildings and sites. One of the best manifestations of the New York City landscape and the impact of landmarks is the Panorama of the City of New York at the Queens Museum of Art. The new exhibition “Marking Spaces: New York City’s Landmark Historic Districts,” will have yellow flags placed on the model to identify the 109 historic districts throughout the five boroughs. On view through June 2. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own 

 7 Injured in  fire in Astoria, Queens

Seven people were injured late Sunday afternoon when a fire broke out in an Astoria, Queens apartment building. Read more: CBS New York

Man caught riding Long Island Rail Road train through Queens

Talk about a crazy commute. A reckless rider was spotted on top of a Long Island Rail Road train in Queens Sunday morning. Read more: New York Daily News 

Schumer opposes possible concealed weapon addition to gun control bill

As Washington lawmakers prepare to vote on expanded background checks for gun purchases, Senator Charles Schumer warned Sunday that a possible Republican amendment to a federal gun safety bill could force all states, including New York, to recognize all other states’ concealed-carry laws. Read more: NY1

9/11 memorial charging reservation fee

Visitors to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum must now pay a $2 service fee to reserve passes online or by phone. Read more: Fox New York/AP

New York’s ‘assault weapon’ registration to begin

Key measures of New York’s tough new gun law are set to kick in, with owners of guns now reclassified as assault weapons required to register the firearms and new limits on the number of bullets allowed in magazines. Read more: AP

Tight win for Chavez’s heir spells uncertainty for Venezuela

Late socialist leader Hugo Chavez’s chosen successor Nicolas Maduro won Venezuela’s presidential election by a whisker but now faces opposition protests plus a host of economic and political challenges in the OPEC nation. Read more: Reuters 

LIRR riders say no justification for fare hikes


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Cristabelle Tumola

MetroCard holders are not the only ones pinching pennies now that fare hikes are in effect.

Starting on Friday, March 1, monthly, one-way, round-trip and 10-trip tickets all went up an average of 8.2 to 9.3 percent for Long Island Rail Road riders.

On the first full work week of higher fares, LIRR commuters in Queens questioned why they are paying more to ride, but are not receiving better service.

“I don’t know how [the LIRR] can justify constantly increasing prices,” said Kevin Gilmartin, a New Jersey resident who has been regularly taking the train from Penn Station to Queens to do millwork projects in the borough for around five years.

Gilmartin knows that taking the train is cheaper than driving, but said with ridership up, the MTA should be lowering prices, not increasing them.

For Nina Rahn, a Bayside resident who commutes to her retail job in Manhattan about four times a week, the fare hike adds up to around $50 more per month.

“I didn’t get a raise at work, so it’s like paying another bill,” said Rahn.

She is also shelling out more cash to ride the bus to and from the train station since MetroCard fares also recently increased.

Agreeing with Gilmartin, Rahn said that if she’s paying more, she wants to see improvements, such as extra trains or fewer signal problems, but those things likely won’t happen.

“Where does the money go?” she said.

 

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Op-Ed: Recovery through economic activity and investment


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

BY ASSEMBLYMEMBER PHILLIP GOLDFEDER

Last year, the legislature passed a bill, as the first step in the process to amending the state constitution, allowing enhanced gaming in up to seven locations across the state. While this was only the beginning, it was a huge victory for Queens families who have already benefited from the economic development and jobs created by Resorts World at Aqueduct and realize the potential for growth. In his annual state of the state address, Governor Andrew Cuomo shared a vision for the future of our state and I look forward to our continued partnership and collaboration in an effort to boost every community across the state.

In southern Queens and Rockaway, Sandy has left a path of unimaginable devastation and destruction and it will take the coordinated efforts of the public and private sector to fully recover. Now, more than ever, we need to find new and creative ways to help our small businesses to create good-paying jobs and rejuvenate our local economy. Creating a full-scale, enhanced gaming casino at Resorts World would not only increase revenues for the community and the state, but the impact would be felt immediately in terms of economic activity and job creation for southern Queens and Rockaway families.

Expanding gaming also provides opportunities for continued investment in southern Queens and Rockaway infrastructure. I continue to be a staunch advocate for the complete restoration of the abandoned Rockaway Beach Rail Line, as it would be the right solution to not only encourage economic development but to increase transit options for all of Queens’ families. Created at the turn of the century, the Rockaway Beach Rail Line, also known as White Pot Junction, was owned and operated by the Long Island Rail Road. Strategically placed within a major network of trains throughout New York City, the rail line provided residents with safe, affordable and expedient access to other parts of Queens and the rest of the city.

There is no need to look any farther than Resorts World at Aqueduct, a proven location for enhanced gaming and reliable community partner. Since their first year anniversary, Resorts World has set records in slot machine gaming, beating out the casinos in Atlantic City and Las Vegas, contributing millions of dollars towards the education of our children. Further, Resorts World has been a valuable neighbor that has worked hand-in-hand with elected leaders, the NYPD and our community to ensure a seamless development at the Aqueduct facility. Resorts World is the perfect example of partnership and we need to give them the tools necessary to continue to succeed so that our families and small businesses may continue to recover and become even more resilient.

In addition to their success as a casino, Resorts World is committed to a long term partnership with our community and has continued their positive relationship through vital investments in our local organizations and standing on the front lines of Sandy relief and recovery. Given the right tools, Resorts World will continue to exceed every expectation, expand on our local workforce and stimulate our local economy, in addition to creating opportunities for the continued success and recovery of Queens.

Goldfeder represents the 23rd Assembly District including Ozone Park, Lindenwood, Howard Beach, Broad Channel and the Rockaways.

 

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