LIRR President Phil Eng appeared live today on News12 Long Island Storm Watch with Erin Colton to discuss the impact of the winter storm on regional public transportation service.
A transcript of the interview appears below.
Erin Colton: Alright, let’s get an update now on the LIRR. We know that the LIRR, once it gets a buildup of snow, about a foot or so we have to start worrying about things shutting down. Joining us live on the phone right now is LIRR President Phil Eng. Hey Phil.
Phil Eng: Good morning. How are you today?
Colton: I’m doing good. I hope everything is all well with the LIRR so far, I know that you have a challenge coming up as these inches are going to start to build up soon.
Eng: Well we do. We’re running a weekend schedule right now and I’m pleased to report that things are going smoothly. We’ve had a few minor switch issues, but the workforce is out and about, snow-fighting equipment is continuously running throughout the system, but I do remind everyone that with emergency declarations in place you really should only be out if you’re an essential worker and if you can stay home you should stay home. There is as predicted heavy bands of snow still to come, high winds, so we do face the challenge of accumulating snow, drifting snow and we’re monitoring the weather and we’ll continue to issue notices to through TrainTime, through MYmta, to let riders know If there needs to be any further adjustments to service.
Colton: I know this is not something you ever want to do but once, you know, the accumulations build you do have to think about maybe stopping things. What is that point do you think and do you think that we’ll get there today?
Eng: Well with every train ride we’re keeping information with regard to accumulations. What we need to do is to keep the third rail clear. The glycol trains that are running are helping us to do that, we’ll also have snow blowers as needed. Should there be a time where we have accumulations where the third rail is fully covered there will be temporary suspensions just to get crews in there to help clear the snow so we can safely move trains and make sure that we don’t have any stranded trains. So, we’ll be monitoring that and again we’ll be proactively keeping the snow levels as down as best we can.
Colton: Alright, so we have a weekend schedule for today through tomorrow night and if there’s any changes like a stop in service what should people be looking right at? Their app, their email, what’s the best place to go to for that information?
Eng: Yes absolutely. MYmta app, the TrainTime app, we have text alerts and email alerts and obviously we’ll be messaging in advance if we see the situation worsening. We’ll be giving our folks advance notices as soon as possible if we have any inkling of any changes.
Colton: Phil Eng, president of the LIRR thank you so much for joining us we wish you good luck today.
Eng: Thank you.