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Kathleen Madigan lives about five minutes from the Yaphank train station, but the daily commuter hardly ever uses the tiny rail depot in a desolate section of the hamlet.
Madigan instead drives 20 minutes or more to Ronkonkoma for the commute to her job in Manhattan. Parking there is harder to find, but trains are plentiful before and after work. The last eastbound train to Yaphank leaves Penn Station at 5:41 p.m.
“Ronkonkoma has trains going basically every hour,” Madigan said. “If you miss the last train to Yaphank because you had to work later, you have to get a cab.”
Residents and officials long have complained that the current station, with only a small gravel parking lot and an unheated shelter, is inconvenient for most commuters. Photo Credit: James Carbone
Madigan and other residents and officials hope the hard-to-find Yaphank station — berthed adjacent to a Yaphank Avenue overpass — will be relocated and enlarged to better serve the community.
The Long Island Rail Road is using $20 million in state funds to study possible sites and other issues related to potential relocation, said Metropolitan Transportation Authority board member Mitchell Pally, who supports the move. The study is in its early stages and he could not estimate when the move would occur or how much it would cost.
“To me it seems like a no-brainer. It helps a wide variety of Suffolk County residents, both Brookhaven Town residents and residents who live on the East End,” Pally said in an interview. “It is something that everybody wants to have happen.”
Service is limited at the Yaphank stop: The LIRR weekday schedule lists only four eastbound trains and five westbound trains. LIRR officials have said daily ridership at the Yaphank station is 30.
This article first appeared on www.newsday.com
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