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Long Island Rail Road to test battery-powered commuter trains

By May 4, 2021January 13th, 2022No Comments

The future is coming to us sooner than you think

Are trains going green? They could be. Depending on the results of a Metropolitan Transportation Authority study, we might have battery-powered commuter trains soon. The Long Island Rail Road is currently conducting an analysis of electric trains to determine if they can run on sections of the railroad system. The study is for eight months and costs about $1 million.

A major change to commuting on the horizon

If the trains can run on batteries, it will be a significant change for commuting agencies that decide to adopt similar technologies. Though trains are great for mass transit, they have been criticized for polluting the environment. The same holds true for our subways. So a battery-powered train in the United States would be great for the environment.

The study will review how long a battery can power a train, the time it will take to recharge a battery, and the efficiency of switching from battery power to electrified third rail power. Test trains will use battery power in some non-electrified sections of the LIRR. Safety considerations will also be analyzed.

After eight months, the MTA will decide if it can retrofit trains in other areas for use on non-electrified sections. The concept of electric trains is not new. Some European countries now use rechargeable batteries for trains.

Commuter benefits help pay for the train

Both electric trains and commuter benefits are helpful for commuters and great for the environment. While electric trains are still a work in progress, commuter benefits are not. Commuters can save up to $270 per month tax-free in their paychecks for commuting costs with commuter benefits. That money can be applied to mass transit such as trains, parking, and rideshares. Employers save because their payroll tax will decrease, with the savings amounting to about $40 per month for each employee participating.

If you’re a business owner or human resources professional looking for the best benefits for your company, considering adding commuter benefits today. Edenred Benefits can also help set up prepaid card programs for commuters who prefer to use e-bikes, bikes, or e-scooters.

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