NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said it intends to make sure Long Island Rail Road riders are “fairly compensated” during Amtrak’s track work this summer at Penn Station.
Beginning in July, three tracks at Penn will be closed during eight weeks of emergency rail repairs, cutting service by 20 percent.
Last week, the MTA unveiled its plan to lengthen trains, and add bus and ferry service to make up for the lost seats.
LINK: LIRR Mitigation Plan
On Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said some riders deserve a break and he asked the LIRR board to reduce fares for trains diverted from Penn Station, as NJ TRANSIT plans to.
“I think the Long Island Rail Road should consider reducing the fares on those diverted trains. That’s only fair to the people who are taking those trains,” Cuomo said. “If you’re taking a diverted train you’re not getting the service you paid for.”
“It’s really only fair and just, it should be done right now,” Long Island Congressman Peter King said. “They shouldn’t be paying the full fare they were paying before.”
In response, MTA Director Ronni Hakim issued a statement saying, “Governor Cuomo is right that due to Amtrak’s repairs some customers are paying for a service they won’t be getting this summer – and that they deserve a fare decrease. We intend to follow the governor’s lead and make sure our riders are fairly compensated.”
Details were not released.
Meanwhile, the MTA director says no more rent checks to Amtrak, its Penn Station landlord, to incur the cost of service changes this summer.
“Our intent is to withhold any further payments to Amtrak and to be very clear with Amtrak that we expect their commitment to pay for what will be our cost over the next couple of months as we deal with the ramifications of their emergency construction work,” Hakim said.
In response, Amtrak told CBS2 the LIRR withholding such investments will only mean less work accomplished, and more delay and impacts for riders.