Kathy Hochul orders more LIRR service beginning Monday


Essentially calling the opening of Grand Central Madison in New York's East Side an ongoing process. Gov. Kathy Hochul ordered the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Sunday to not only add Long Island Rail Road trains to Brooklyn during peak hours, but also to lengthen cars on a number of trains that exceeded capacity over the last week.

Those changes will take effect on Monday.

"The historical opening of Grand Central Madison marked the first expansion of LIRR service in 100 years, and to ensure the new terminal's success, we must be responsive to the needs of our commuters," Hochul said, in a release. 

That begins by increasing rush hour service to Brooklyn by adding trains on Monday, and another set of additional trains on Tuesday. That should reduce the time between trains on the Jamaica-Brooklyn shuttle to an average of 8 to 9 minutes as early as Monday, the governor said. 

LIRR also will lengthen 17 trains — including four that had already been lengthened last week. Trains like the 6:26 a.m. between Far Rockaway and Penn Station, the 7:07 a.m. between Jamaica and Atlantic Terminal, the 7:15 a.m. between Babylon and Grand Central Madison, and the 7:28 a.m. between Ronkonkoma and Penn Station. 

Trains also will be lengthened between:

• Port Washington and Penn Station at 5:29 a.m., and 7:54 a.m., as well as the reverse trip at 5:07 p.m., 5:52 p.m., and 7:35 p.m.

• Ronkonkoma to Grand Central Madison at 5:42 a.m., as well as the trains between Ronkonkoma and Penn Station at 7:28 a.m., 8:25 a.m., and 4:01 p.m.

• Long Beach and Grand Central Madison at 5:49 a.m., as well as the 3:48 p.m. train between Penn Station and Long Beach

• Huntington and Grand Central Madison at 5:54 a.m., as well as the reverse trip at 7:04 p.m.

• Wantagh and Penn Station at 6:15 a.m. and 6:54 a.m., as well as the reverse trips at 4:37 p.m., and 5:19 p.m.

• Babylon and Penn Station at 6:31 a.m., 7:31 a.m. and 8:31 a.m., as well as the return trips at 3:23 p.m., 3:38 p.m., 4:10 p.m., 5:16 p.m., and 6:57 p.m.

• Farmingdale and Penn Station at 7:19 a.m.

• Little Neck and Penn Station at 8:20 a.m.

• Grand Central Madison and Hempstead at 6:03 p.m.

Those changes won't end there. Hochul wants LIRR to continue to use its Jamaica Central Control Center to closely monitor ridership conditions and operations, providing real-time observations where officials can make schedule adjustments based on demand.

"Changes made starting late last week — and those scheduled to take effect Monday — are data-driven adjustments to reduce wait times and lessen crowding where it occurs," said Catherine Rinaldi, interim president of the Long Island Rail Road, in a release. "We had 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 toward ensuring a better experience going forward, while continuing to run more overall service to more NYC terminals than the LIRR ever has before."

More than 114,000 riders commuted to and from Grand Central Madison last week, in what the MTA says is a savings of more than 38,000 hours — or more than four years — of commuting time to destinations on the East Side, compared with travel time using Penn Station.