Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor) is calling on the Metropolitan Transit Authority and the Long Island Railroad to implement a long-promised plan for shuttle trains to serve the North and South Forks.Complaining about overcrowding on the Connonball Express that provides service from Penn Station to Montauk, Mr. Thiele said the LIRR needs more express trains so “safety of the public is no longer in jeopardy during the summer season.” Then the LIRR should put the shuttle trains by 2016 on the front burner .
The New York State Legislature included $37.2 million in the MTA capital plan to purchase the smaller diesel equipment to serve the East End, Mr. Thiele said.
The trains would increase service through implementation of an integrated rail/bus shuttle network for East End riders in line with the recommendations from the state-funded Volpe study that demonstrated the viability of such a system. It was tested during a pilot project while there was reconstruction work happening on Country Route 39 and shown to be cost-effective and efficient, the legislator said.
“Unfortunately the MTA and the LIRR have done nothing” and result has been local East roads clogged with traffic and unsafe train conditions due to overcrowding.
Failure of the MTA and LIRR to act would result in pursuit of a Peconic Bay Transportation Authority to replace the train service here in order to properly meet East End needs, Mr. Thiele said.