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Malverne Surveys Commuters in Effort to Restore Morning Train

Village and other local officials in talks with LIRR to bring back service to West Hempstead line.

The westbound 7:23 a.m. weekday train out of Malverne was the most convenient for many commuters traveling from the village to Manhattan, but it was cut in 2010 and was replaced with a 9:01 a.m. train.

But if riders want to make it work by 9 a.m. there only options the 5:43 a.m., 7 a.m. or 7:44 a.m. 

“It is a hardship for commuters, because now the early train gets them in too early and the later one gets them in too late so a lot of them are being forced to go to other communities to pick up that train,” NYS Assemblyman Brian Curran told village residents in June 2011 during a town-hall-style meeting with residents. (He said back then that he was told by the LIRR's president that the 7:23 a.m. was cut due to a “funding matter” related to the deficit the Metropolitan Transportation Authority was running, but that it was a "top two" priority on LIRR’s restoration list.)

But Curran, Malverne Mayor Patricia Norris McDonald and Sen. Dean Skelos have been in talks with Long Island Railroad officials for several months and their efforts may soon payoff.

They recently met with two LIRR representatives who said they "would be willing to go back to the [old] schedule," Malverne Village Trustee Michael Bailey told Patch.

Before they do this though they want to make sure it's what commuters actually want, so the village has put together a short six-question survey for local riders to fill out. The questionaire, which can be filled out online by clicking here or hard-copies can be picked-up at Village Hall, asks participants to identify which community they live in, if they regularly use the LIRR and which stations do they commute from (Lynbrook, Malverne, Valley Stream or Westwood).

The survey then asks which morning departure schedule from Malverne and Westwood would be most convenient for them and what specific westbound morning a.m. train would they use most often. Curran and Skelos were in Malverne Monday morning talking to commuters about the survey, handing out copies and explaining their efforts to bring back service to the branch.

According to Bailey, the LIRR's statistics show that there has been an overall decline in commuters taking trains out of Malverne as people shift to stations in nearby communities that have more service.

"It's a waste of time and money for these commuters," Bailey said of those who have had to travel to another community to catch a train to work. "We want to find out and give people what they want."

Bailey said village officials have not received any updates on whether weekend service on the West Hempstead Branch, which was cut altogether in 2010, would be restored too. During a visit to Lynbrook in late July though, LIRR President Helena Williams told Patch that she's "been monitoring the development activity that's going on along the branch," referring to the transit-oriented, luxury apartment complex being constructed next to the West Hempstead station.

"It's clear that as that development activity takes place and new residential housing is going in that there may be a greater demand for weekend service ... If we have the opportunity to grow the ridership, then we'll revisit the issue of weekend service."

Would use the 7:23 a.m. westbound, weekday train out of Malverne if it was restored? 

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