The LIRR is spending $40 million to upgrade one station that carries 6,000 passengers a day on 59 trains, which means a capital expenditure of $6,666 per rider (assuming it comes in on budget)
The monthly fare is $276 for the roughly 1 hour ride into Manhattan.
Typically when transit people want to inflate numbers, they’ll count the trip into town and back as two “customers”
So if the station was the only expense for providing the service, that makes the payback period (not including interest if they float bonds) of 24 months.
A “pocket track” is a holding area in between the two existing tracks. This will allow them to hold a train that ends at this station while trains that continue down the line to go by. Most likely the trains that run further will make this their last stop before the Jamaica station, skipping 8 stations. Once the express train goes by, the local pulls out from the pocket track and follows the express, but stopping at every stop, reducing the crush of people getting on closer to the city.
I’m not arguing that it isn’t needed, but that it should come out of the LIRR operating revenues, not New York or Federal money. You just know a big chunk of this is going to have artwork funded and minority set asides and of course all done by union labor.