LIRR restores service after cuts led to overcrowding

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Service returned Monday morning on the Long Island Rail Road after earlier cuts led to overcrowding.

More trains are being added, restoring service to what it was before March 8.

The transit service also has a new tool to help riders spread out.

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Kristin Thorne reports on LIRR trains that saw some crowding.

Digital signage on the platforms now shows you not just the level of crowding on each individual car, but it also shows you where you are standing on the platform in relation to each car.

The LIRR noticed that some of that crowding they saw after the March 8 cuts was due to people not spreading out.

"These tools will go a long way to providing the comfort and information our customers are looking for as New York continues on its reopening path and more and more people look to use public transportation to get them where they need to be," said LIRR President Phillip Eng.

The LIRR is adding 68 trains to the schedule this week.

Customers we spoke with in Mineola were pleased.

"Now, hopefully, everyone will get back on to their regular train," said Sheri Weis. "It won't be as crowded, people won't have to sit next to you still. That was a little scary."

That brings service back to 80% percent of pre-pandemic levels, despite the fact that ridership is still down about 75%.

"Judging by the number of vaccinations and the shots that are getting aggressively into people's arms and businesses slowly starting to reopen - allowing more and more customers into their offices - I expect that ridership will continue to grow," Eng said.

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