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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Press Releases

July 15, 2014, Contact: Press Office (518) 474-4015

DiNapoli Estimates LIRR Strike Could Cause Up to $50 Million in Economic Loss Daily

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today estimated a potential Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) strike could cause up to $50 million in lost economic activity each day.

“A LIRR strike would cause headaches and financial hardships for riders and businesses. It would also be another devastating blow to a region that is still struggling to recover from Superstorm Sandy and the recession,” DiNapoli said. “Both sides must go the extra mile to reach a reasonable settlement so we can avoid the costly impact of a strike and the millions of dollars in lost economic activity.”

The Comptroller’s projection is based on LIRR ridership information as well as census and economic data. DiNapoli’s office regularly examines and reports on the finances of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and its affiliates, including the LIRR.

DiNapoli said that about 300,000 riders rely on the railroad every day when traveling between Long Island and New York City, and within Long Island for work and other activities, such as shopping and tourism.

The economic impact of the strike would be significant on Long Island during the peak tourism season, as well as New York City. While it is mainly considered a commuter rail, it also connects Long Islanders to New York City attractions such as Broadway shows, restaurants and shopping. It also brings tens of thousands of New Yorkers each week to the Hamptons, Fire Island, Montauk, Long Beach, and other tourist destinations such as beaches, golf courses and wineries. The impact of a strike would affect even those who do not rely on the LIRR because roads, subways and buses would be stretched beyond their capacities.

Any adverse impact on tourism would also affect sales tax receipts, an important revenue source for local governments.

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