State Senator Todd Kaminsky issued the following statement after attending the New York State Assembly’s Standing Committee on Corporations, Authorities, and Commissions public hearing: “Amtrak has let Penn Station fall apart under its watch–and the testimony from Amtrak executives today gave New Yorkers no reason to believe that the unacceptable state of the station will improve. Today, Amtrak essentially admitted that there is a safety and infrastructure debacle at Penn Station and that it could not effectively deal with the crisis. Amtrak also unveiled a troubling plan to outsource management of the concourse to a private ‘partner’ and that it would make further track closures. Amtrak claimed to include the LIRR in its new private partnership–but with little detail and no commitment that LIRR riders would truly be represented.”

On April 28, Senator Kaminsky had sent a letter to Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz and Senator Michael Ranzenhofer requesting that the two hold joint emergency hearings about Penn Station. In response, the NYS Assembly hearing addressed the impact of Amtrak’s New York Penn Station Infrastructure Renewal Program on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the Long Island Rail Road, and New York commuters.

Kaminsky called again for the State Senate to hold hearings on Penn Station. “It is shameful that the State Senate hasn’t held hearings on Penn Station,” Kaminsky said. “What are they waiting for? The daily delays, overcrowding, and horrid conditions are the norm at Penn. I again call on my colleagues to hold these hearings, on Long Island, and during the evening in order to hear from the many frustrated commuters who just want to get home to their families on time every night.”

Senator Kaminsky hosted a well-attended “Rally for a Sane Commute” on Saturday, May 13, at the Rockville Centre LIRR station. Senator Kaminsky has led the fight for improving LIRR service. He has spoken up against the increase in LIRR fares while performance has declined, and challenged the MTA director in a Senate hearing about the poor state of several stations in his district.

Senator Kaminsky issued the following statement about Governor Andrew Cuomo’s announcement about his plans for Penn Station: “The statement from Governor Cuomo is music to the ears of LIRR riders who are furious at Amtrak’s mismanagement of Penn Station. The next step is to fully remove Amtrak from having any control over Penn Station, and ensure that LIRR commuters have a seat at the table with whatever entity controls Penn Station next. LIRR commuters have suffered enough and it is time that they be treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.”


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