Thursday, March 15, 2012
From NY1: By Tina Redwine
Should the Long Island Rail Road build a new station in Elmhurst, Queens? Some residents hope so.
"It's just so much faster than a subway. If you can afford it, it's definitely the way to go," said Elmhurst resident Andrew Ruf.
There was a station in the neighborhood until about 25 years ago, when the LIRR demolished it because few riders used it.
On Thursday, area Congressman Joseph Crowley and City Councilman Daniel Dromm toured the old site with the railroad's president, Helena Williams.
Crowley said the station would allow a shorter commute and more family time for residents.
"It’s not just about getting to and from work. It’s about a better standard of living and a better quality of life," said Crowley.
Census figures show there are 40 percent more people living in Elmhurst than there were when the station closed. Dromm said locals are not happy with the subway service.
"The subway stops are crowded, that often times they have some delays on the subway. they'd like to have another option," said Dromm.
Williams said an Elmhurst station is a possibility.
"We are doing things along the line that gives us the opportunity to add trains, by adding trains it becomes once again feasible to stop trains in the outer boroughs," said Williams.
She said Elmhurst is the only new station the LIRR is considering.
The decision to build the station depends largely on how many riders will use it, so the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is doing a survey to see how many bus, subway and vans riders here would pay more to take the LIRR.
A full-fare ticket from Elmhurst would be $7.25 cents, $5 more than the subway. But the LIRR would get riders into Manhattan 25 minutes faster and eventually all the way to Grand Central Terminal, once the East Side Access project is completed.
"It's worth it because time is money," said an Elmhurst resident.
MTA officials say the new station would cost between $20 million to $30 million.