NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Problems plaguing the Long Island Rail Road appear to be getting worse.
The newest fleet of trains are delayed again, due to ongoing testing.
But many passengers on the nation’s largest commuter railroad say they are squeezed for space, paying too much, and waiting too long, CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported Thursday.
After multiple years of delays, excuses, broken promises. Where’s the new fleet of LIRR cars? What’s the problem now?
“It’s almost like a joke. People are angry about it,” one straphanger said Thursday.
“Let’s get the show on the road,” another said.
“Just get it done,” another rider added.
Chopper 2 found some of the new electric M9 trains not on Long Island, but parked in Yonkers at the Kawasaki rail facility
The LIRR denied CBS2’s request for an interview or train tour but said in an email the promised rollout of the first batch of 92 cars will be delayed several weeks due to a variety of issues that have come up during operational testing.
That’s unacceptable, according to state Sen. James Gaughrin.
“The fact that they bungled the rollout of these new cars that are so desperately needed is just unbelievable,” said Gaughrin, a Nassau County Democrat.
He said the contractor should be held accountable for over-budget late delivery.
Riders deserve safety. Taxpayers deserve answers.
“I’m with those commuters, too. I’m jaded,” said Peter Haynes of the LIRR Commuters Campaign.
Haynes is a former LIRR systems project specialist.
“The railroad is great at promising everything and delivering very little,” Haynes said.
Commuter Rene Cote is an attorney.
“I want there to be a careful and deliberate rollout,” Cote said.
No one wants the cars rushed into service if they aren’t safe and aren’t ready, but a bungled rollout seems to be a pattern with the LIRR.
“I don’t know if the electric cars are going to help any or hurt, but I give ’em a thumb’s down,” commuter Paul Prince said.
Most riders eager for bigger, safer and more modern cars told CBS2 their patience is running thin.
The new fleet design did not allow enough space for positive train control crash technology hardware. The railroad said that is being fixed now.