NEW YORK (PIX11) — Riders are checking their transit apps and schedules after another set of changes at the Long Island Rail Road.
The new Grand Central Madison opened with full service last week, and it impacted many riders to Penn Station and Brooklyn’s Atlantic Terminal. The railroad has made some adjustments for the second week.
Interim LIRR President Catherine Rinaldi said they continue to review ridership trends.
”Today was better than last week. We know we had a bumpy last week. We are committed to making it a better experience for our customers. We made some changes to the Atlantic shuttle and it’s more frequent. We have better communications,” she said.
Some trains have been lengthened to Penn Station and cars will continue to be added to alleviate crowding conditions.
Some riders are asking the railroad to reconsider bringing back trains that were removed and hold to allow more connecting trains.
Ian Siegel said he has been an LIRR commuter for 12 years to Atlantic Terminal.
“They’ve trained LIRR commuters for decades to time the transfer. That’s all we know. It was ripped away. Revert back to the schedules and create an enhanced shuttle to Grand Central Madison and as it increases start to phase in more service to Grand Central Madison,” Siegel suggested.
Siegel did note that there appeared to be less crowded trains Monday to Brooklyn, although he describes the scene at Jamaica as “hectic.”
Brooklyn riders have to switch to track 12, which requires a walk to the last platform of the station.
“We have access to a lot of data. We have train by train and train car data which allows us to make decisions as we did today to lengthen some trains. It’s only five days of data. Things could change. I think people are trying to figure out what’s going to work best for them,” said Rinaldi.
The railroad reports that ridership to Grand Central Madison was up about 5% Monday as compared to last week. Penn Station handles about 60% to 70%. During the first full week of schedules, Grand Central ridership saw about 30%.
Rinaldi said this is a major reorganization of the railroad and they will work to make the experience better.
“There’s so much service coming into Jamaica. It’s one after the other in the peak. Essentially, we want there to be a train coming and that’s what makes the difference and fits all together,” Rinaldi said.
Long Island Rail Road riders can now for the first time access the east side. For riders that no longer have to go to Penn Station and ride the subway, more than half an hour could be saved from their commute.