It could be all aboard the Long Island Rail Road in Elmhurst if local lawmakers have their way.
LIRR officials will begin a month-long survey next week to see if it makes financial sense to reopen the neighborhood’s long-shuttered, overhead station.
(L-R) Congressman Joseph Crowley, Council Member Daniel Dromm and LIRR President Helena Williams take a walking tour around the former Elmhurst LIRR Station in Elmhurst in 2012.
“It’s a worthwhile investment,” said City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights.) “It would be a big transportation and economic development boost for the area.”
A surge of new residents have moved into Elmhurst in recent years, Dromm said, leading to more crowded trains and buses.
That’s why he’s confident locals would be willing to shell out the $8 per ride during peak hours for a faster, more comfortable trip to Manhattan. Straphangers currently shell out $2.50 for a subway or bus ride.
“People would be willing to pay a little bit more for the convenience of knowing when the train was going to arrive,” Dromm said. “We have some major employers in that area — such as the Elmhurst Hospital [Center] and the Queens Center Mall.”
LIRR officials said the future of the $30 million project won’t be decided until at least 2015.
The station was closed in 1985 because of low ridership, LIRR officials previously said. But trains on the Port Washington line still pass through it on the way to Manhattan.
Dromm and Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Queens, Bronx) approached the LIRR to reopen the station in early 2012.
“This is an important first step,” LIRR President Helena Williams said in a statement.
The agency will mail a written questionnaire to nearby homes and have representatives in the neighborhood question pedestrians about their modes of transportation.
Opening the station could alleviate the uncomfortable overcrowding on the area’s mass transit options, said Robert Valdes-Clausell, one of the directors of the Newtown Civic Association.
It could also help locals to get to and from other parts of Queens — and even Long Island.
“They should have reopened long ago,” said Rosemarie Poveromo, president of the nearby United Community Civic Association. “It’s convenient for the people in that immediate community.”
By Clare Trapasso
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/queens/long-island-rail-road-arrive-elmhurst-article-1.1379394#ixzz2X0M4DkWg