Long Island Needs the LIRR’s 3rd Track Now!
The LIRR Third Track is the most important capital project proposed for Long Island in the last 5 decades. The project involves construction of a third track along the existing two tracks of the Main Line between Floral Park and Hicksville.
The Ties That Bind
LIRR Third Track Project Diagram
Third Track Brings Long Islanders Together for a Better Tomorrow
The two existing tracks along the project route were constructed in the 1800s, when the population of Long Island was 100,000 to transport people and freight between New York City and Boston via steamboat connection in Greenport. Almost 2 centuries later our population is now 3 million and four branches of the railroad now converge on the project path. This condition constitutes an extreme bottleneck that chokes the LIRR system, thereby severely constraining its expansion and modernization and turning it into a one-way street during peak service hours. Most importantly, it prevents the transit-oriented economic and community development that is essential if Long Island is to be competitive in a 21st century economy and attractive to the young people we want to live and work here. righttrackforlongisland.com
On Track for Change
The third track construction will bring jobs, income and a rise in Gross Regional Product (GRP) on Long Island. In fact, while the third track is being built: 2,250 construction jobs* will be created and personal income and GRP will increase by $910 million cumulative.
The Third Track Revives Long Island’s Job Growth
Over the last two decades, job growth on Long Island has been sluggish in contrast to the revival experienced by NYC. Compared to our suburban neighbors, Long Island is losing more young people due to lack of economic opportunity, the high cost of living and lack of housing and transit options.righttrackforlongisland.com
The Right Track Means Business
Business needs mobility to attract talent and young people. In a 21st century technology-based economy, clustered employment centers increase innovation and productivity. Over the next 10 years after a third track is completed, an estimated 14,000 new jobs will be created. How? By creating economic gains from close proximity between firms; by creating time savings due to more frequent and reliable service; and by creating better matches between employers and workers.
The Right Track Means More, Younger Long Islanders
A third track would add 35,000 new residents, and almost 40% of these new residents would be 25-44 years old – twice as many as compared to not having a third track. Why is this critical? Because young, working-age populations are key to revitalizing and growing the economy.
The Right Track Will Impact the Region’s Wealth
Construction of the third track would represent a $1.2 billion investment in the Long Island economy over a five-year period. Ten years after the third track’s completion the investment would result in 14,000 new jobs, $5.6 billion in additional Gross Regional Product (GRP), $3.0 billion in additional personal income and 35,000 new residents to Long Island, of whom 40% would be in the 25- to 44-year-old age cohort (compared to only 20% of Long Island’s total forecasted 2035 population without the third track).
The Right Track Expands Long Island’s Tax Base
The third track would generate $40 million in annual sales tax revenue and $103 million in annual property tax revenue as of 2035. The long-term benefits derived from the third track investment would generate a significant payoff for Long Island. In present-value terms, an investment of $1.1 billion produces cumulative benefits of: $7.7 billion GRP + 4,000 jobs by 2030; $36.3 billion GRP + 20,000 jobs by 2040; $67.9 billion GRP + 25,000 jobs by 2050.
A third track is the right track for Long Island
9.8 miles of track can make a multi-billion dollar difference for Long Island. We need the Third Track Now!
* Annual Jobs This infographic is based on a 2014 report written for the Long Island Index by HR&A Advisors, a leading economic development consulting firm and Parsons Brinkerhoff Inc, a global planning and engineering firm. Regional Plan Association also played a critical role in analysis and development of the report. All dollar values are given in 2013 dollars. Design: Amy Unikewicz/JellyFever Additional Images: ©Shutterstock.com/Maraga, ©Shutterstock.com/Weniworks. ©iStock.com/A-Digit, ©Thinkstock/Anatolii Babii
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