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Under the lead of Supervisor Ed Romaine, Senator Mario R. Mattera (2nd Senate District) participated in a press conference at the Stony Brook Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) station to urge the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to extend electrification on the Port Jefferson line. The press conference, which included multiple elected officials including Assemblyman Steve Englebright and Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich, sought to raise public awareness of the need for the MTA to include the project that will improve LIRR service, provide a much-needed boost to the local economy and benefit the environment as well.

In addition to Senator Mattera, Assemblyman Englebright and Councilmember Kornreich, the Supervisor’s call received across the board support including from Mitch Pally, CEO of the Long Island Builders Institute; George Hoffman, Co-Founder of the Setauket Harbor Task Force; Kyle Strober, Executive Director of the Association for a Better Long Island; Herb Mones, Chairperson of the Three Village Civic Association; Carl Mills, Interim Assistant Vice President of Government and Community Relations at Stony Brook University; and Pat McClellan, Policy Director of the New York League of Conservation Voters and more.

The LIRR tracks east of Huntington are currently not electrified and use dual-mode locomotives that switch from electric to diesel, which are slower and more harmful to the environment. The Supervisor noted that the Port Jefferson branch is one of the busiest branches of the LIRR, serving more than 19 million riders a year according to a pre-pandemic, 2018 LIRR Ridership Report. He also noted that electrification would support economic development in the communities along the lines.

Supervisor Romaine said, “Thousands of Brookhaven residents use the LIRR to commute to work every day, and many others ride the train for day trips, Broadway shows, sporting events, shopping and more. Electrification would provide faster, more efficient service and attract people to live in the communities with close access to the railroad. The economic upside would be felt throughout the town as more people choose to live here, and our young people decide to stay because of the improved LIRR service and easier access in and out of New York City. I also urge the State, MTA and LIRR to fully electrify the Main Line and Montauk Branches as well.”

“With the East Side Access and Third Track projects finally nearing completion, electrification of the entire Port Jefferson branch would ensure that our region benefits from these infrastructure projects. It will help build our economy while protecting the environment and provide our commuters and residents with greater access in both directions. And, it will help create construction jobs for our hardworking men and women of labor. That will help strengthen every area along this vital route and that should always be our main goal,” stated Senator Mattera.

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