Long Island Rail Road focuses on improved communication

Commuter concerns addressed at LIRR council meeting

News Newsday July 16, 2007
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The days of Long Islanders not knowing why their train is delayed could soon become obsolete.

Improved communication was the first commuter concern new Long Island Rail Road president Helena Williams addressed at a LIRR commuters council meeting July 12 in Manhattan.

Williams hopes vague announcements, like “signal problems” or “police activity,” will be replaced by announcements and e-mail alerts informing commuters of the specific problem.

Other concerns Williams addressed included the railroad’s poor-performing diesel fleet, and the launch of a new gap-safety awareness campaign.

So far this year, dual modes have performed poorly, breaking down on average every 10,000 miles. Williams called the fleet situation “bleak” but announced plans to hire a third-party consultant in the hopes of improving dual-mode locomotive reliability.

The campaign aims to improve orderly boarding by warning boarding customers to step aside and allow passengers first to exit the train. Williams said orderly boarding should reduce gap falls because many gap accidents are instigated by a slip, trip or fall while boarding or exiting the train.

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