The MTA's Long Island Rail Road is moving forward its Double Track project designed to smooth the 18-mile ride between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma.
The Double Track is expected to increase the frequency of commuter trains in and out of New York City, an initiative local leaders hope will boost economic development along those stations. The environmental study is just beginning and was kicked off at a press conference Wednesday in Ronkonkoma.
Among the supporters is Sen. Charles Schumer who, in a statement, said the project has the potential to "substantially reduce commuting times, facilitate the flow of workers in and out of Long Island and boost development in areas like East Farmingdale, Wyandanch and Ronkonkoma."
“The trains will go faster," Schumer said at the press conference. "But when there’s a stalled train, the time you wait will be much less as well.”
CBS News reported that the LIRR expects the project will create hundreds of construction jobs. Ridership has doubled on the Ronkonkoma branch over the last 25 years, CBS reported.
The first phase of the project could be complete by 2016.
The public will have input into the project through two public information centers, one at each end of the line, to take comments, CBS reported.