Those railroads are not even comparable to the LIRR, NJT, etc. when it comes to the sheer amount of people on these trains. Not only are you going to lose even more revenue that would not be collected, you are also creating a safety hazard to thousands of people having one or even the mandatory two conductors on a train.
Incorrect. RER in Paris, Overground in London, and Sydney Trains in Sydney all operate heavy rail systems with vastly higher ridership than the LIRR with one or two crew members per train. The key? Turnstiles or scanners on the platform -- hardly some impossible investment. And it isn't like conductors are terribly effective today anyway...
Once a successful bi-level MU can be developed, sure I will be on-board with electrifying everything. You know what though? That does not exist, and I don't believe is possible. The diesel territory, sans the Port Jefferson Division, were not designed for single level passenger cars. The work will be done to Port Jefferson and Riverhead, that is a given, but to meet everything that the diesel fleet currently covers, plus adding frequencies for the ESA project and intra-island service, would require almost a duplicate order to the current fleet. Where to maintain those cars? Hillside is at capacity, and an east end maintenance facility is not happening. You're looking at a multi-billion dollar project, probably closing in on a trillion dollar project, just to get everything electric. I don't know, that doesn't sound like it's worth it to me.
I fail to see the logic here. We should spend loads of money on EMUs because...the platforms don't conform? The obvious solution here seems to be to fix the platforms. And, FWIW, successful bi-level EMUs do indeed exist. Look at Europe (whose trains we can get with the new FRA regs), METRA, whatever CalTrain is cobbling together, whatever Toronto has in store, and, of course, the NJT MLV EMU procurement.
DMUs? I don't think any major commuter railroad (at least in this region) has used any sort of DMU since the SPV-2000 almost three decades ago. It's one of those things that looks fantastic on paper to pencil pushers, but in reality is a nightmare for the people that work on them everyday and have to maintain them. The biggest problem with how the current setup (at least on the Main Line East of Ronkonkoma) is that you're "wasting" equipment. All it does is KO-GY all week then gets swapped out. For a railroad short of everything on the diesel side all the time for one reason or another, just being able to get a dedicated small fleet of equipment for that part of the railroad would help all around operations without disrupting the dynamic of this railroad.
The NY chauvanism is killing me! Toronto, Austin, San Francisco, Napa Valley, Dallas, Denton, Camden, all of Europe -- the list of successful DMU applications goes on and on.
A quick census calculation shows that 86% of workers living in the towns of Southold, EH, SH, Riverhead and Brookhaven commute within the island. Sure, those folks are harder to serve given the diasporization of jobs, but to focus all train service on the irrepresentative NY market is a waste. In fact, given this, an argument could be made that scoot service from, say, Hicksville or Babylon to Montauk would actually be more effective in serving commuter needs than a fleet of direct trains to NYC. The only way a service like that -- one which will probably have (relatively) low ridership density -- makes sense is with low cost equipment, which is why I speak so much of DMUs.