YAPHANK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — One of the smallest train stations in our area is on the move.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is investing millions of dollars as it tries to figure out where to rebuild the Yaphank station, so that more than a few dozen riders per day can find it and use it, CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported.
On the busiest commuter rail system in North America, there is one stop where you surely won’t have to fight the crowds.
Welcome to the Yaphank Long Island Rail Road station, if you can find it.
“I think many people don’t know it’s there because it’s hidden away,” said Linda Petersen of the Yaphank Taxpayers and Civic Association. “It doesn’t have a regular train schedule that accommodates more people.”
A throw back to yesteryear, there are no ticket machines or booths, no waiting room and almost no passengers. Ridership is 30 — as in people — per day. The locals don’t even know where the station is.
“No, I don’t know where it is,” one person said.
It’s little wonder why. Only four trains depart daily, with only one rush hour return from Penn Station.
So in search of riders, the Yaphank station will soon be on the move. The town of Brookhaven, working with the MTA, plans to relocate the station to a more visible spot to relieve overcrowding at stations to the west, like Ronkonokma.
“Ronkonkoma is so popular, that after 8 o’clock in the morning you can’t find a parking space. I know. A number of those people come from the East End and now could have the option to go to Yaphank,” MTA board member Mitchell Pally said.
Pally said the move will better serve residents and the Long Island economy, with new housing and development just east. The state will fund a $20 million move using existing tracks or, if needed, new tracks.
The question is if they build it, will riders come? Brookhaven officials are calling it a potential game changer, and hope to create a major hub.
“Most people don’t even know Yaphank has a train station, so if we move it a little further east it really would accommodate so many new people,” Councilman Michael Loquercio, Jr.
So how long will it take to get directly from a new Yaphank station to Manhattan? Perhaps five years.