A seasonal peak evening train from Hunterspoint to Montauk is among a series of "service investments" announced by the Long Island Rail Road Thursday.
Beginning in May 2013, the LIRR plans to restore a 4:30 p.m. train due in Montauk at 7:35 p.m. five days a week, connecting Queens to the South Fork. The service was reduced to Fridays-only in September 2010, as part of a number of controversial cuts in East End service that came down the pike around the same time the was imposed.
The restored service will be in season from May until mid-October.
"Adding this train back to seasonal daily service provides customers a second opportunity for peak service east of Speonk and closes a seven-hour gap in eastbound service to Montauk," the LIRR states.
New York State Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr., I-Sag Harbor, praised the move on Friday, as well as Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
"After years of paying more and getting less service from the LIRR, we have seen a reversal of fortune for the East End," Thiele said. "Since the arrival of Governor Cuomo, we have seen the repeal of the MTA Payroll Tax for 700,000 businesses as well as schools, totaling more than $250 million in tax savings."
The restoration is part of a $29 million investment plan.
“Long Islanders and others are increasingly using our service,” said LIRR President Helena E. Williams. “We’ve seen ridership increases for the last 10 months in a row on the LIRR and we are responding to this customer demand by investing in areas where we are seeing growth. ... These investments in service are good news for our customers, for the Long Island economy and for our entire region.”
Thiele noted that the East End is also the beneficiary of a for intra-Island commuting, expected to be implemented in 2014.
"The restoration of the Hunterspoint train is another step in the right direction," Thiele said. "I have long said that the way to make the LIRR successful is by growing service, not increasing fares and eliminating service. Recent developments show that this message is starting to be heard."