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Commuter frustration on Long Island Rail Road continues after opening of Grand Central Madison

LIRR riders remain frustrated with new schedule
LIRR riders remain frustrated with new schedule 02:14

NEW YORK -- Commuters on the Long Island Rail Road continue to be frustrated after a new schedule went into effect.  

Thursday morning, for the fourth straight day, peak travel times were met with peak frustration at Jamaica Station. 

The new schedule accommodates trains to Grand Central Madison, which opened Monday. Since then, commuters have been dealing with crowded trains, jam-packed platforms and long wait times

"It's just frustrating. It went from something that was kind of easy to just do it, and now it just doesn't seem as easy," said Allie Degrazia, from Wantagh. 

While Grand Central Madison trains are a welcome addition to commuters who work on the East Side, the new schedule is more than a minor inconvenience for those heading to Penn Station or Atlantic Terminal. 

"I think it's terrible ... It destroyed everybody, convenient for only a few people, that's all. It disrupted everybody else," said Rene Brimicri, from Smithtown. "An additional hour for me." 

MTA discusses LIRR schedule changes causing commuter complaints 11:35

"It's a little annoying," another commuter said. "You gotta go to different tracks. Jamaica is getting more crowded now because a lot of people can't make the Grand Central train." 

The new terminal means fewer trains are running to Penn Station, where more than 70 percent of peak commuters were headed on Wednesday, according to the MTA. 

Those going to Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn must now take a shuttle train. 

"It added about 40 minutes to my commute going to Brooklyn every day," said Mike Merritt, from East Meadow. "They say that every Atlantic Terminal train is on 11 and 12, but it's not always the case. One day it was on Track 4. Then they tell you the train's pulling up, it's pulling off. Nothing's consistent." 

"You didn't think it could get worse, but they showed it could be," said Jon Moskowitz, from Woodmere. 

Videos from riders show overcrowded trains since the new schedule started. One rider said he had to stand in the bathroom. 

Tracking data showed two trains were at 111 percent capacity Wednesday evening. The LIRR said it's adding cars to the busiest trains and monitoring what future changes might be needed. 

There's plenty of confusion on platforms too. One man found out his train to Penn Station changed tracks at the last second - while we were interviewing him. 

LIRR Interim President Catherine Rinaldi declined an on-camera interview with us, but released a statement saying the new schedule "is not fixed in stone."

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