New York Senator Chuck Schumer, who I sometimes refer to as the Senator from Brooklyn, is about my favorite politician. Look at one of his projects:
He is urging MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) officials to consider “rider satisfaction” and incorporate community input into the design of the railroad’s new M-9 commuter-rail cars, which are scheduled to enter service in 2017.
The M-9 would be an evolution of the recent M-7 and M-8 EMUs now in traffic on LIRR and Metro-North respectively. The M-9 would be capable of operation from 750 V DC third rail used on LIRR and at the southern end of the Metro-North network, plus the 11 kV 25 Hz and 25 kV 60 Hz overhead power supplies used on the Northeast Corridor.
MTA expects the M-9 to feature a range of design modifications based on feedback on recently-procured vehicles, including enhanced passenger information and air-conditioning equipment. MTA is also reported to be evaluating the installation of onboard wi-fi. The car body is expected to be approximately 50 mm wider to give a more generous middle seat in a 2+3 arrangement.
The first tranche of EMUs to replace LIRR’s oldest M-3 trainsets, but subsequent orders are likely to be used to increase the fleet size ahead of the introduction of LIRR services to Grand Central under the East Side Access project, now scheduled to open in 2019.
“For the amount of money that Long Island commuters pay to use the railroad, and the amount of time they spend onboard the railroad each week, they should expect a safe and on-time ride, but also a comfortable and convenient one,” said Schumer.
LIRR passengers can pay as much as $363 for a monthly train ride from stations such as Ronkonkoma, which is significantly higher than monthly passes for other transit systems, he said. Past reports have highlighted issues with “commuter comfort” along the LIRR, Schumer added.