West Hempstead ridership

Discussion of the past and present operations of the Long Island Rail Road.

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Re: West Hempstead ridership

Postby njt/mnrrbuff » Wed Dec 19, 2018 9:59 am

At least, the MTA should eliminate a transfer. I sort of understand why the weekend service on the WHB shouldn’t be eliminated! That would be like eliminating the weekend service on NJT’s Montclair-Boonton Line to Bay Street and many of us want to see hourly service and the stations up to MSU served but that won’t happem soon.
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Re: West Hempstead ridership

Postby MACTRAXX » Wed Dec 19, 2018 10:38 am

hs3730 wrote:The weekend ridership wouldn't be so abysmal if it didn't require two transfers to get to the WH branch from Manhattan. Move the connection to the Long Beach train instead of the Far Rockaway train.

Alternatively, moving the WH branch (and by necessity Valley Stream) into Zone 3 would improve its appeal against the Hempstead and Babylon branches.


1-Good idea to move West Hempstead connections to Long Beach trains that operate directly to
Penn Station. That will eliminate a transfer for a possible majority of WH Branch riders.

2-The boundary between Zones 3 and 4 is the Queens-Nassau County (City) Line. Moving the WH
Branch out of Zone 4 for lower Zone 3 fares is likely not politically possible. With the WH Branch
(4.6 miles Valley-WH) further east than both Lynbrook AND Rockville Centre a zone change that
has the potential of making "magnet" stations on a low use branch would create more problems
then it is worth.

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EXPRESS TRAIN TO NEW YORK PENN STATION-NO JAMAICA ON THIS TRAIN-PLEASE STAND CLEAR OF THE CLOSING TRAIN DOORS
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Re: West Hempstead ridership

Postby SwingMan » Wed Dec 19, 2018 11:11 am

If anything, they should just have those trains go to Jamaica and spin there instead of Valley Stream. They should also make St. Albans instead of Babylon trains.


Also, I believe Zone 4 should be eliminated all together. It is abused by many and hard to police since it is such a short fare zone with such a nominal distance to Zone 3/Zone 7. People abuse it to a point where they are going to lose it, yet these same people will be the first ones to criticize conductors for not getting every fare or the correct fare.
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Re: West Hempstead ridership

Postby rr503 » Wed Dec 19, 2018 5:12 pm

SwingMan wrote:If anything, they should just have those trains go to Jamaica and spin there instead of Valley Stream. They should also make St. Albans instead of Babylon trains.


Also, I believe Zone 4 should be eliminated all together. It is abused by many and hard to police since it is such a short fare zone with such a nominal distance to Zone 3/Zone 7. People abuse it to a point where they are going to lose it, yet these same people will be the first ones to criticize conductors for not getting every fare or the correct fare.


Agree.

The thing with lines like the WH is that they are victims of LIRR planning. People generally don't use services that arrive >every fifteen mins except when the alternative (driving) is terrible (at rush hours), or too expensive. So, the LIRR then perceives little demand, which then allows them to maintain/reduce abysmal service levels. Compounding this is the extremely high fixed cost of LIRR operation. Conductors, nuances in crew pay agreements, etc make the fixed cost of running a train extraordinarily high, rendering service expansion/experimentation even less attractive; trains only can get anywhere near break even on a direct cost basis during the peak of the peak.

There's also the issues that the WH legitimately doesn't take its riders where they want to go. I did a quick analysis of the half-mile radius from the line using the Census' LEHD On The Map tool, and found that while 44% of residents work *somewhere* in NYC, eight of the top ten work destination zip codes are in Nassau County (Mineola, Garden City, Lynbrook, Hempstead, Manhasset, Valley Stream, Rockville Centre, and West Hempstead itself in that order, with Downtown and Downtown Brooklyn coming next, though I must add that data for Dtwn Bk is unreliable b/c of poor reporting by the NYCDOE).

The salient point there is that with high-frequency LIRR or LRT conversion and/or extension to Mineola, a transportation service that actually takes riders where they want to go when they want to go there could be provided (and let's not forget that frequency = utility for things other than commutation). Just some food for thought...
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Re: West Hempstead ridership

Postby artman » Thu Dec 20, 2018 3:39 pm

I grew up on Hempstead Gardens Drive halfway between HG and WH stations. Many memories of the house shaking when trains went by.

My dad, who commuted to Queens daily, never used it due to the transfer at Jamaica. He drove instead to Hempstead. I always thought that was dumb. However, looking back on it if he drove, he could stop at a bar for one or three on the way home. That was pretty likely given his predilections.
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