MTA Names President of LIRR

Rob Free was named Thursday as the 42nd president of the Long Island Rail Road, after serving as acting president for the last several months.
He began his career with the railroad as a station cleaner 31 years ago, rising through the ranks to become Chief Transportation Officer and Senior Vice President of Operations before becoming President.
Free was a key player in the rollout of LIRR service to Grand Central Madison, helping to oversee a 41% increase in service that accompanied the terminal’s opening, the largest service increase in LIRR history.
During his time in LIRR leadership, the MTA also completed the Main Line Third Track project, opened the first new LIRR station in 50 years at (Elmont-UBS Arena), and completed an overhaul of the LIRR concourse at Penn Station while continuing to run robust train service all throughout construction.
MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said, ““Rob Free was the natural choice for the job – a native Long Islander who’s committed his working life to the LIRR, rising through the ranks from cleaner to running operations to now leading North America’s busiest commuter railroad.”
Free will oversee LIRR’s 24/7 service, 700 miles of tracks, and 126 stations. Free says a top goal is to boost ridership and continue to adjust schedules to improve on-time performance even more.
“When I joined the LIRR as a 22-year-old station cleaner, I never imagined that one day I would be running this incredible organization,” Free said. “It’s been an amazing journey so far and I am excited to continue to build on our successes and make the riding experience even better for Long Islanders. Ridership continues to climb, with weekdays routinely carrying 230,000-plus riders, as is on-time performance which has been above 95% for three straight months.”


Leave a Reply