New York & Atlantic Railway - page 7

Business View Magazine
make certain commodities that need lots of space to
be stored, more attracted to a place many miles from
New York,” Victor explains. “Transcontinentally, you go
by rail, then find a nice empty field somewhere in East-
ern Pennsylvania. You do two thousand miles by rail
and the last hundred by truck. Then you don’t have
to have the expense of transloading it or handling it
in New York City or Long Island. So, we have indirect
competition because you have surrounding areas, fur-
ther out, where it might be more advantageous - not
because of rail rates, as such, but in terms of invest-
ment in property and everything else.”
Today, the NYA moves approximately 30,000 carloads
of freight a year, up from 9,200, when it began its oper-
ations in 1997. According to Bonner, the company mar-
kets itself aggressively. Its current goal is to increase
its inbound food shipments. “Nobody eats more food
than New Yorkers,” he declares, “and a lot of the foods
that they do eat are dense.” (Dense and heavy food-
stuffs are typical freight train payloads.) “That could
be tomato sauce, flour, cheeses,” Bonner continues.
“So, we’re targeting that very heavily. It’s a safe play
and it’s one that can bring benefits to New Yorkers.
That’s what we want to talk about in five years – that
we’ve grown our food business by ‘X’ percent. We want
to maintain and continue to improve on the other lanes
that we have, but the food is a specific target for us.”
Victor believes that the NYA also helps New York’s
economy, not the least, because it is a job multiplier.
“The kinds of activities that we support are warehous-
ing and local truck delivery,” he says. Bonner adds
that the company helps mitigate an enormous amount
of road traffic coming into and out of the Metropoli-
tan area. “We are an environmentally-sound mode of
transportation. And we’re a good employer,” he adds.
“We provide good jobs at more than the average wage.”
Privatizing its freight operations and turning them over
to the New York & Atlantic, has proven to have been a
wise decision of the Long Island Railroad, which is a
publicly-owned rail agency, administered by New York
State’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority. In the
first 18 years of its 20-year concession, the NYA has
offered improved service, timelier connections, and
more competitive rates for its commercial customers,
while helping to reduce highway congestion and pol-
lution in the greater metropolitan area. It has been a
win-win for both railroads, as well as for citified New
Yorkers and their suburban, Long Island neighbors.
Borbas Surveying and Mapping
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