Brittany ComakJun 16, 2017, 4:52 pmJun 17, 2017, 8:06 am

Governor Cuomo could withhold payments to Amtrak

The Governor will seek a state law to stop payments, saying commuters or taxpayers shouldn't bear the cost for disruptive track work

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The MTA finally unveiled their plans for how to best serve commuters this summer during track repairs at Penn Station.

According to the Metropolitan Transit Authority, it will be adding hundreds of buses, two ferry routes, and extra cars to LIRR trains.

In addition, Governor Cuomo says that the state has sped up construction on bridges and roads so that not all avenues of transport are clogged over the two-month period.

The MTA did not provide any price for their proposal and has reportedly promised that LIRR riders will not have to pay more, but Governor Cuomo has a different idea, imploring the MTA to do more:

"I strongly urge the MTA Board to recover these costs from payments to Amtrak. If the MTA Board insists on continuing payments to Amtrak, I will seek a state law to stop them. I believe as a matter of principle, whatever the ultimate cost, it should not be borne by the commuters or taxpayers of the State of New York."

State Senator Elaine Phillips from Manhasset is also urging the governor to go even further and have the LIRR reduce fares during this construction period.

"We were on time two whole days in a row this week so that was good but we need a reduction in fares,” said Jenean Onorato of Patchogue. “What should be like a two-hour and 45-minute commute both ways, ends up being sometimes 4-5 hours and it's crazy."

"I think that the Long Island Rail Road should compensate somehow for it," said Ryan Kierych of Centereach.

Matt Mello of Bayport added, "Yeah I'd love to get the fares reduced, that would help me a lot. I mean it's expensive as it is already and the rail work is going to be really tough on getting to work on time so, hopefully, they can help us out a little bit at least. That would be nice."

A spokesperson for Amtrak reportedly said that they understand the frustration, but a lack of payment from its partners would only lead to slower construction and repairs, and more disruptive commutes.

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