LIRR admits overestimating Grand Central Madison demand, making adjustments

The first week of full service to the new Grand Central Madison station on the Long Island Railroad has been anything but a smooth ride for commuters, with pictures and videos on social media showing people running to make their connections and trains that are jam-packed.

Brooklyn train riders say they've been neglected and no longer have direct service to Atlantic Terminal, forcing them to transfer at Jamaica station for shuttle trains.

Now, the MTA says it has heard people's complaints and that they are working to alleviate some of the issues.

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LIRR Interim President Catherine Rinaldi has admitted that they overestimated the demand for direct service to Grand Central. The MTA had added 271 trains each weekday for that service, leaving less train cars for those heading to Penn Station. 

"We are looking at a train-by-train basis," said Rinaldi. "Every train, every day. How long is it? Who's on it? How crowded is it? And we're making adjustments to be able to reflect actually what we're seeing out there."

Additionally, the MTA eliminated some scheduled connections at hubs like Jamaica and Atlantic Terminal, forcing people to make a mad dash to catch connections. 

In response to criticism from riders, beginning Monday, the MTA is adding three more shuttle trains to Brooklyn for the morning rush hound and will add cars to some rush hour trains on the Babylon, Long beach, Port Washington, and Ronkonkoma branches.