MANHATTAN, N.Y. (WABC) — Jamaica Station has some of the worst overcrowding conditions due to confusion with the new timetable.
At Penn Station, riders were met with crowded platforms and standing-room-only trains after the railroad rerouted some routes to Madison’s new Grand Central.
The MTA estimates 40% of riders would move their trips to the new east terminal, but so far they say it’s only about 30%.
Now they are adjusting the schedule and adding back the cars, using only the 1980s cars that were written off.
All of this creates a headache for people who are just trying to get to work.
This is the first major change to the LIRR schedule in generations.
On Monday The LIRR has increased its commuter schedule at Madison’s shiny new Grand Central, allowing Long Island commuters access to the East Side for the first time.
“We have very happy customers here at Grand Central Madison,” said LIRR President Cathy Rinaldi.
But Rinaldi admits that MTA planners have cut too much service at Pennsylvania Station on the west side, inconveniencing customers who were never interested in the east side.
“Some of our customers going to Penn have seen trains that are more crowded than they would like, more crowded than I would like, and we are taking cars from uncrowded trains to build up trains where we continue to see heavy ridership.” said Kathy Rinaldi, president of the LIRR.
“The trains are short,” said passenger Emil Samuels. “It used to be 10 car trains. Now there are eight. But what worries me is that they don’t keep in touch. This morning when we pulled into Jamaica with a packed train, there was an empty Pennsylvania train and it just closed its doors and left.”
The trains, which were overcrowded, have already been extended with extra carriages, and from next week they will be constantly rescheduling.
This is no easy feat post-Covid, with only 70% of the pre-pandemic passenger peak and patterns that were all over the place.
The MTA is asking its customers to be patient.
“One of the challenges is that we don’t see the same thing every day, so after COVID, Mondays and Fridays are quiet, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are a little bit busier,” Rinaldi said. “But what can we do with a train that is very, very crowded on a Tuesday and then not crowded at all on a Wednesday?
There were also problems for commuters in Brooklyn as the MTA eliminated some direct service to Atlantic Terminal, forcing passengers to transfer here in Jamaica.
New York Governor Kathy Hachul chimed in.
“This is a temporary situation,” she said. “Any new redevelopment, the first new train station in over 100 years, so it will take a little while, but it’s very temporary.”
All train schedules are available through St Train Time program and online at mta.info.
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