NYC commuter rage grows over LIRR schedule overhaul

The MTA’s new, $11 billion LIRR train hall under Grand Central Terminal has turned into a gleaming shrine to commuter mayhem, with furious riders left fuming at Jamaica Station on Day 4 — as largely empty trains rolled into Manhattan.

“I’m running from Track 12 to Track 3, then they change it to Track 4? That’s five flights of stairs!” a commuter who gave her name as Samantha fumed Thursday.

The 38-year-old teacher, who was trying to get from New Hyde Park to Brooklyn, said she’d seen fellow riders running and falling as they tried to catch trains in Jamaica.

“They need to add more trains to Brooklyn or go back to the way it was before,” she said. “I’ve been late the last four days because of this.”

Commuters on a platform at Jamaica Station.
Commuters rush to transfer trains at Jamaica Station on Thursday, four days into the LIRR’s biggest schedule overhaul in decades.
Seth Gottfried

The maddening situation is the result of controversial changes to the Long Island Rail Road’s schedule that went into effect Monday to accommodate full-time LIRR service to Grand Central.

The new schedule eliminated most trips to Brooklyn’s Atlantic Terminal and forced riders to instead pack into overcrowded trains heading to Manhattan’s Penn Station or Jamaica Station in Queens, where they have to make untimed transfers on a new platform on the far side of its 12 platforms.

Meanwhile, there are rows of empty seats on the trains heading to Grand Central.

Commuters on a platform at Jamaica Station
A train to Grand Central sits largely empty at Jamaica Station on Thursday as commuters pack the platform for a train to Penn Station.
Seth Gottfried

Krista Clancy said she’s no longer able to ride an express train from Lynbrook to Penn Station, adding a new connection and an estimated 30 minutes to both her morning and evening commutes.

“It’s a hot mess,” she said. “And now look at this! I can’t even get on any of these Penn trains they’re so packed! And all these Grand Central trains are half empty?”

Commuters on a platform at Jamaica Station
A train approaches Jamaica station as many commuters pack the platform.
Seth Gottfried

Paul Catalano, a corporate exec from Deer Park, said his trip to Penn Station also now includes a transfer at Jamaica.

“There are a lot of people on this platform and too much stuff going on and people are getting thrown off their schedule so, nobody likes change,” Catalano, 59, said.

The Post counted nearly two dozen MTA staffers — including high-level managers — on the Jamaica Station platforms Thursday trying to calm commuters and explain the changes as social media complaints and negative headlines piled up.

Commuters on a platform at Jamaica Station
Commuters walk down towards Jamaica station as many riders pack the platform with more trains heading out east and into the city.
Seth Gottfried

Ridership statistics released by the agency show that even after Grand Central opened for full service, at least 70 percent of Manhattan-bound LIRR riders were still opting for Penn Station during the morning rush.

The MTA was not able to immediately comment.