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LIRR, Business Leaders Back Gov. Cuomo's Plan To Revamp Rail Road

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's plan to expand and improve the Long Island Rail Road is getting some promotional help from railroad and business leaders.

MTA Long Island Road President Pat Nowakowski said the governor's proposal for a third track from Floral Park to Hicksville will help bring the LIRR into the future.

"The whole railroad was built based on what's been there for 100 years. That's always been the governing factor for the rest of system. Well now we need to change that view," Nowakowski told WCBS 880's Mike Xirinachs.

The plan is also gaining praise from Long Island Association business leaders.

"This is one of the most important infrastructure projects ever proposed for Long Island," Long Island Association CEO Kevin Law said.

Law called it a winning project for everyone.

"They have the worst commutes in the country on Long Island. The average commuter spends nearly three work weeks sitting in traffic every year," Cuomo said during the announcement in January. "If we're going to grow in downstate New York, we're going to have to improve our mass transit system, because you cannot handle the traffic we now have."

Cuomo said the additional track will increase service, reduce congestion and allow the LIRR to provide reverse-peak trains during traditional business hours.

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