[caption id="attachment_1378" align="alignright" width="432" caption="Missing trains? That's becoming a normal view for LIRR riders these days."][/caption]
Missing trains? That's becoming a normal view for LIRR riders these days.
After a long hiatus, I am again riding the Long Island Railroad and in less than 2 months, I am reminded, once more, why it is such a pitiful excuse for a railroad. To be fair, the parent organization, the MTA, has an excellent record for institutionalizing mismanagement and incompetence. The MTA of course doesn't have to show a profit, answer to shareholders or care about customers since it does not depend on fares for income. The MTA will just raise tolls on bridges (which they don't maintain) and now that they've added payroll (i.e income) taxes their income potential is unlimited. Now everyone gets to support the MTA lifestyle regardless of whether or not they use, or even have, MTA services.
The Long Island Railroad, last week, suspended all service for more than 24 hours and most service for close to 36 hours. My usual train ride of about 1 hour and 15 minutes disappeared. The evening commute, on 2 out of the 4 days that the train actually ran, took 4 hours and 5 hours. The morning commute took 4, 3, and then 2 hours.
The MTA (and later the LIRR) long ago started 'automating' their systems which meant replacing the folks that would have sold you a ticket, for the most part, with machines. To celebrate the fact that they were raising fares across the board at the end of the week, they took all of their systems offline so those of us that won't buy into their extortion by mail system made a trip to the stations this weekend to purchase our weekly or monthly tickets and were turned away. Credit and Debit cards were not allowed as the 'systems are offline', which meant of course that there were even longer than usual lines at ticket windows on Monday and more than a few folks with missed trains.
Happy New Year LIRR - you are an amazing institution - my informal poll of two MTA cops, One conductor and a ticket agent, as I left the ticket window, without my monthly ticket indicates that your own employees don't think very highly of you either, but of course that feeling I am sure is mutual because that's just how you roll.