More scheduling adjustments and other accommodations are coming to the Long Island Rail Road in time for the Monday morning rush hour as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority continues to juggle service to Penn Station and Grand Central Madison in Manhattan and Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday morning, MTA Chairman and CEO Janno Lieber said the fixes coming on March 13 include directing four trains that now serve Grand Central Madison to Penn Staton instead. Four morning rush hour trains on the Ronkonkoma line will be lengthened and serve two additional stations.
Lieber said the changes are intended to enhance service and increase the frequency of trains. Scheduling changes made to accommodate Grand Central Madison, the result of the years-long East Side Access Project, have caused chaos for commuters, especially at the vital Jamaica Station. Not the railroad is seeking happier medium.
“We are pleased with the progress we’ve made this week and we are going to continue to make adjustments as we go,” he said in a press release from the agency.
“From day one, we knew that there was going to be a learning curve,” he said. “We are especially focused on what we can do to give riders a better understanding of their options, both through the TrainTime app, and also via announcements and signage. We are moving to a place where the system is achieving its goals and is working much better.”
Monday’s changes are in addition to modifications made March 6 and 7, when rush hour service to Brooklyn was increased, reducing time between trains to between seven and eightminutes. Trains serving Penn Station were lengthened, and cars were added to all trains that had exceeded capacity the previous week.
Customer service representatives all last week flooded train platforms and the mezzanine at Jamaica Station to try and ease the transition.
“The Long Island Rail Road team is all over the rollout in terms of looking for trends, what ridership is looking like, what trains are popular and adjusting accordingly,” said Long Island Rail Road Interim President and Metro-North President Catherine Rinaldi. “This is a very dynamic process and we are going to be continuously making adjustments based upon ridership and loading data. We look at it every single day.”
Come Monday morning the 5:42 a.m. train from Ronkonkoma to Grand Central Madison will shift to operate to Penn Station, where it will be scheduled to arrive at 6:55 a.m.
The 7:54 a.m. train from Long Beach to Grand Central Madison will shift to operate to Penn Station, where it will be scheduled to arrive at 8:44 a.m.
The 7:31 a.m. train from Grand Central Madison to Hempstead will shift to originate at Penn Station at 7:30 a.m.
In the afternoon rush hour, the 5:27 p.m. train from Grand Central Madison to Babylon will shift to originate at Penn Station at 5:28 p.m.
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