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A surge in train travel over the last three months of 2013 helped boost MTA Long Island Rail Road's (LIRR) annual ridership for the second consecutive year, with LIRR posting a 2 percent gain in ridership over 2012's total.
The railroad carried 83.4 million riders in 2013, an increase of 1,640,716 passengers versus 2012, LIRR officials said in a press release. The 2 percent ridership increase is another indication that the region's economy is improving and that LIRR customers responded to the restoration of some service that had been cut during the recession, they said.
"We are seeing an increase in both commuters going to work and occasional riders," said LIRR President Helena Williams.
LIRR branches that posted notable increases in 2013 included Port Washington, up 3 percent; Port Jefferson, up 2.7 percent; Far Rockaway, up 2.6 percent; Ronkonkoma, up 2.4 percent; and Montauk, up 2.8 percent.
The Long Beach branch, which still is recovering from Hurricane Sandy, posted a 0.8 percent ridership decline.
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