For some commuters, the new Long Island Rail Road schedule that now includes Grand Central Madison means a new transfer in their commute they never previously had.
Those commuters say the window for the connection is either too tight or too long. Either way, they say it makes for longer commutes.
“In the morning, it looks like they’re on a football field running around here, like it’s crazy,” said LIRR commuter Anthony Briggs, describing the scene at Jamaica station this week.
Commuters can often be seen rushing through crowds to get to other platforms to make their transfers.
On Monday, the MTA launched its full service for Grand Central Madison, bringing up to 24 trains per hour to the new station. But that also means services changes to other lines.
“My transfer is thrown off about 25 minutes, so that’s why I’m standing here waiting right now,” Briggs said.
The new schedule adds 271 trains per day, a 41% increase in service, but in some cases, forces passengers who used to take direct trains to Atlantic Terminal or Penn Station to transfer at Jamaica.
Commuters could be seen early Wednesday morning rushing between platforms to make their connection trains on time.
The more crowded it is, the tougher it is to make that mad dash successfully.
“Trains would all come at 7:23 a.m., a train to Long Island City, a train to Penn Station and a train to Atlantic Terminal and they would wait for each other if they were late, but that doesn’t exist anymore so if you miss your train then you miss your train,” said LIRR commuter Camille Cameron. “And there is no more connecting so you have to run to make sure you are there on time.”
For other commuters, the historic additions to the LIRR have improved their commutes, even if they don’t need to access Manhattan’s east side through the new station.
“I am leaving a little later from home, so it is a little more convenient actually,” commuter Chris Bear said. “Which is a surprise when I heard the new schedule was coming out, I was wondering what it was going to be like, but it seems to work out better for me.”
The MTA said the new schedule is not set in stone, and that they are going to be looking at several commuter patterns, adjusting and adapting as time goes on.