Gov. Hochul is calling for more rush hour trains after a bumpy first week of Grand Central Madison service

After a tumultuous opening week for Grand Central Madison train service, Governor Kathy Hochul is calling on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to get back on track.

The MTA launched full service to Grand Central Madison early last week, directing trains to the new station on Manhattan’s East Side below Grand Central Terminal. But the transition was far from smooth, with commuters walking up and down stairs to catch connecting trains and getting into cars for the final legs of their journeys. That eventually led to Hochul on Sunday instructing the MTA to adjust its service starting Monday with more rush hour service to Brooklyn and longer cars heading to Penn Station.

“The historic opening of Grand Central Madison marked the first expansion of LIRR service in 100 years, and to ensure the success of the new terminal, we must respond to the needs of our commuters,” Hochul said in a statement. “Customers deserve a world-class commute experience, and that is what we are working hard to achieve with these changes. We are committed to continuing to listen, monitor and make changes to provide New Yorkers with quality service, communication and consistency .”

The move forced some trains that used to serve Penn Station or Atlantic Terminal to travel to the new station instead, forcing some commuters who used to take direct trains to transfer in Jamaica.

Hochul said the Long Island Rail Road would expand rush hour service to Brooklyn by adding trains in the coming week. The goal, she said, was an average of nine minutes between trains in Jamaica during peak hours on Monday, with an even more frequent service from Tuesday. The governor also said 17 trains entering Penn Station will be extended, along with other cars that exceeded passenger capacity last week.

“Changes made late last week and scheduled for Monday are data-driven adjustments to reduce wait times and reduce crowding where it occurs,” said Catherine Rinaldi, Long Island Rail Road interim president and Metro-North president . “We said we were looking at every train and every line to assess where customers were not getting the level of service they and we expect. These changes are steps towards a better experience going forward, as we continue to improve overall service continue to provide services to more NYC terminals than the LIRR has ever had. We will continue to monitor passenger traffic trends and loading conditions and make adjustments as necessary.”

Brooklyn riders were advised to check the TrainTime smartphone app for new Jamaica-Atlantic Terminal options.

The governor also directed the MTA to expand its customer service to help commuters through the transition.






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