It's not enough that the LIRR provides fairly regular service (at least on days when you can actually get into Penn Station), in addition to not charging for luggage rack luge competitions; now spoiled customers are demanding SEATS. The LIRR Commuter Council sent a sternly worded letter to the railroad this week, admonishing officials for the condition of the seats, mainly the ones that flip up and down when needed. As you can see from the photo above, some of them have seen better days.
The Commuter Council tells the LIRR, "The cars are not designed to handle large numbers of standing riders, and the result is an uncomfortable ride for many. The least that the LIRR can do is to make every possible seat available for use." Since Hurricane Sandy, the railroad has been forced to run fewer trains because of damage to two East River tunnels, Newsday reports.
The LIRR's response to SeatGate 2012? DEAL WITH IT. In a statement, LIRR spokesman Salvatore Arena explains that "these seats were designed to flip down and be used as seating when the car is not in use by the engineer." Just don't start running around blaming LIRR workers for busting the seats—that's also the riders' faults. Newsday reports that "some of the seats have been broken by customers who try to bypass a locking mechanism that keeps them folded away," according to the head of the conductors' union.
But instead of assigning blame, how about we focus on what does work on the LIRR—namely the freedom to drink on the train and then clown around on the luggage racks: