The MTA Long Island Railroad, the largest commuter railroad in the country, has retained Abt SRBI to conduct planning surveys to gauge potential ridership for two proposed stations in Queens, NY. – Elmhurst and Sunnyside/Long Island City.
The Abt SRBI surveys in each area will determine if residents would be willing to take the LIRR given other options in the area. The Elmhurst station under consideration was closed in 1985 because of low ridership at the time.
Utilizing an address-based sample (ABS) design, Abt SRBI will target approximately 500 households within a half mile radius of each of the potential station locations. Additionally, Abt SRBI is conducting intercept surveys at key business locations near each of the stations.
The Abt SRBI survey instruments were on display at a press conference June 21, held at the Elmhurst station site. See below. Using these surveys and other, existing data sources, ridership potential at each of the stations will be modeled. Data collection is expected to be completed in summer 2013.
The LIRR is also planning to boost train service frequency after the opening of the East Side Access, a new train terminal beneath Grand Central Terminal that is intended to bring thousands of commuters per day to Manhattan’s East Side.