OpEd: LIRR Revives Getaway Packages Just in Time for Summer

lirr summer
Courtesy MTA Long Island Rail Road.

Summertime on Long Island is like no other, in good weather and in bad. Last week, our incredible LIRR workforce saw the region through our worst storm yet of the season, Tropical Storm Elsa. Our crews braved the elements and stepped up once again while working tirelessly to provide safe train service despite the torrential rain and high winds. Safety is and will always be our top priority.

Preparing for storms like Elsa is a team effort that starts well before the first rain drops even fall. The day it hit, on Thursday, we pre-positioned crews and diesel locomotives across the system to help minimize service disruptions. But there’s so much more that goes into our weather planning – like the aggressive steps we’ve taken to protect infrastructure, strengthen and replace utility poles and tackle poor drainage locations. We also regularly trim trees and branches adjacent to our tracks to prevent them from falling during storms.

It’s our mission to make sure things run smoothly in every circumstance so riding the rails is an enjoyable experience. We want you to keep you coming back, especially as Long Island continues to recover from the pandemic.

That’s why we’ve revived our popular LIRR Getaways packages this summer after the program went on pause last year. Customers can revisit favorite local destinations like Long Beach, Jones Beach, and Fire Island (via Bay Shore and Patchogue), or join us for something new: a day-long guided brewery crawl across the South Shore.

On two Saturdays this summer, July 31 and August 21, you can experience beer tastings at Sand City Brewing Co. in Lindenhurst, followed by a bus trip to Bay Shore for another round at Great South Bay. Our tour ends in the Village of Patchogue, where you can patronize local restaurants and shops. Each ticket costs $63 (adults only, of course), and includes round-trip rail, private bus transportation, and both tastings. Visit new.mta.info/daytrips for full details on this and all the discount packages we offer.

What I truly love about these offers is that they highlight what Long Island is all about – getting together and enjoying all the great businesses and beauty we have in our own backyard. There are so many great spots located within walking distance of our 124 railroad stations, making each journey to a new town an adventure.

We’re prouder than ever to support the region’s economy while helping customers get to all the amazing destinations across Long Island and New York City. I’m grateful to the LIRR workforce who continue to show up day in and day out, as they have during the entire pandemic, to keep New York moving. It’s because of their hard work we’re able to provide a record level of service more safely and reliably than ever.

If you take a look out the window while you’re on one of our trains, you’ll see we’re doing this with major construction going on across our system as we build a better, more robust network that will truly give Long Island the public transportation it needs to thrive. With Mainline Expansion and East Side Access completion on the horizon, the future is bright.

Phil Eng is president of the MTA Long Island Rail Road.

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