Getting to work on the Long Island Rail Road’s (LIRR) Port Washington line is not as hard as it is coming home from work for northeast Queens commuters, according to a recent performance study.
The Port Washington line, which makes stops in Woodside, Flushing, Bayside, Douglaston and Little Neck and carries more than 13 million passengers annually, meets the systemwide average (92.7 percent) when it comes to performance during the morning peak and overall hours, according to a report by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. However, in 2016, the branch under performed by more than 5 percent during evening peak hours.
No trains on the Port Washington line appeared on the top 10 worst on-time performing during the morning peak. However, during the evening peak, the 6:24 p.m. departing Penn Station was the top worst performing train overall, followed by the 6:14 p.m. and the 7:01 p.m. in fifth and sixth, respectively.
Additionally, the 6:14 p.m. and the 6:24 p.m. trains departing Penn Station on the Port Washington line were late, canceled or terminated almost 40 percent of the time — nearly six times more often than the systemwide average.
In a list of the most frequently canceled LIRR trains in 2016, the 6:14 p.m. train departing Penn Station on the Port Washington line was the fifth most frequently cancelled train in 2016. The 5:26 p.m. and the 7:01 p.m. made seventh and eighth, respectively. All trains that made the list depart Penn Station during the peak evening rush hour.
No trains on the Port Washington line made the top 10 best performing during the morning or evening peak times.
In 2016, the LIRR, which is the largest commuter railroad in the nation, carried 89.3 million riders — the most since 1949. The number of cancelled trains totaled 1,269 in 2016 — the most since 2010.
According to the LIRR, a train is considered on time if it arrives within 5 minutes and 59 seconds of its scheduled arrival time. The LIRR estimated that it was responsible for 30 percent of all delays, cancellations and termination in 2016. More than one-quarter of incidents were attributed to its customers.
“Commuters count on the Long Island Rail Road to get them to their jobs on time and back home again,” DiNapoli said. “While the LIRR reports that only a relatively small percentage of trains were late or canceled, too many commuters had a different experience. While on-time performance improved a bit in 2016, it slipped during the first quarter of 2017.”