It is unlikely that our region has hit “peak traffic” yet, as our commuting population has steadily grown, so have average commute times and mass transit demands. The Long Island Rail Road is struggling to meet our needs and city transit is stretched as well.
Long Islanders in general spend a significant amount of time commuting daily, more than the national average.
The good news: We are trying to fix it
East side access: The goal is to connect the LIRR to Grand Central Station. Target goal for service date is December 2022.
Double and Third Track project: The construction of additional tracks to certain parts of the LIRR should provide much needed redundancy, increase capacity and improve service to riders.
These two large projects as well as the incoming new M9/M9A rail cars are part of the LIRR’s push to modernize its service.
The bad news: We have much more to do
Congestion pricing proposed by Tri-State Transportation CampaignThe gist: charge drivers that drive in to mid-or downtown Manhattan and use the revenue to improve the MTA, and by extension the LIRR. In theory this would also improve the commute for drivers who still decide to drive into New York City.
Some legitimate concerns regarding this proposal include increased ridership on the LIRR that may not be ready to meet its demands, concerns over public transit deserts and first/last mile solutions.
Improved public transit: Besides better LIRR service, Long Island needs better first/last mile solutions. Ridesharing services such as Uber or Lyft may play a role in this, but such services could also increase traffic and congestion. Shuttles and buses exist as a solution only in some areas and both Nassau Inter-County Express and Suffolk County Transit ridership have been declining.
Tell usWhat else do we need to improve transportation and commuting on Long Island?
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