A service alert chart on the Long Island Rail Road’s website Tuesday morning had what appeared to be good news the day after more changes were introduced to the schedule.
Ten of the 11 branches, including the City Terminal Zone, were marked on or close to schedule. Only the Port Jefferson line was listed with “some delays.”
Janno Lieber, chairman and CEO of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and Interim LIRR President Catherine Rinaldi last Friday announced a number of the new ones starting with Monday morning’s rush hour after changes to the schedules implemented on March 6 still left riders and the LIRR scrambling.
Speaking at a press conference last Friday morning, Lieber said the fixes set for March 13 included directing four trains that then served Grand Central Madison to Penn Staton instead. Four morning rush hour trains on the Ronkonkoma line were lengthened and now serve two additional stations.
Lieber said the changes were intended to enhance service and increase the frequency of trains. Previous 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.
“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 eight minutes. Trains serving Penn Station were lengthened. Cars were added to all trains that had exceeded capacity the previous week.
“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 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.”
As of Monday morning the 5:42 a.m. train from Ronkonkoma, LI, to Grand Central Madison shifted to operate to Penn Station, where it now is scheduled to arrive at 6:55 a.m.
The 7:54 a.m. train from Long Beach to Grand Central Madison now serves Penn Station, where it is scheduled to arrive at 8:44 a.m.
The 7:31 a.m. train from Grand Central Madison to Hempstead now originates 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 now departs from Penn Station at 5:28 p.m.
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