The Long Island Rail Road said Monday it had an increase in passengers in 2012 even though the railroad suffered tremendous losses when Hurricane Sandy battered Long Island.
The LIRR said it recorded ridership of 81.7 million in 2012, 0.7 percent higher than in 2011. The number of riders rose for13 consecutive months until October, when the storm struck, inflicting hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to the railroad.
“Sandy dealt a severe blow to the LIRR and its customers, but with their patience and the hard work of our employees we were able to get this railroad back on track,” said LIRR President Helena Williams. She said the LIRR expects the number of riders to keep rising.
“By the holiday season we were offering the extra service that makes it easier for Long Islanders to enjoy the sights and attractions New York City offers,” Williams said. “It all bodes well for 2013.”
The LIRR said that among the bright spots was the opening in late September of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where big draw entertainers like Jay-Z, Barbra Steisand and Justin Bieber as well as the arrival of the NBA Brooklyn Nets promoted more LIRR ridership along with the PGA Barclays golf tournament and the racing season at Belmont Park.
The new arena is across the street from the LIRR’s new Atlantic Terminal facility.
With reopening of Amtrak tunnels in the aftermath of Sandy, which hit Oct. 29, the LIRR was able to restore full service on Dec.10.
©2013 Community News Group
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