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MTA budget includes service improvements for Long Island Rail Road

MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) officials have proposed $3.4 million in service improvements, including restoration of weekend service on the West Hempstead Branch and the addition of two cars to six rush-hour trains.

Some of the service improvements, including restoration of the West Hempstead weekend service, will be implemented as soon as this fall while others will occur in 2015, LIRR officials said in a press release. The funding package includes upgrades on the Huntington, Port Washington, Babylon, Hempstead, Oyster Bay and Montauk branches, as well as service to Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn and Barclays Center.

"These investments will help address community and customer requests to strategically add service where it is needed most," said LIRR President Patrick Nowakowski. "We are especially pleased to be able to restore weekend West Hempstead branch service."

The proposals, which are included in the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's preliminary budget presented to its board earlier this week, were crafted in response to LIRR's continuing ridership growth as the region works its way back from the Great Recession. LIRR ridership has exceeded prior-year levels in eight of the past nine months. In June, the railroad carried more riders than it has in nearly six years, LIRR officials said.

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More News from 7/31/2014