Letter: Changes To LIRR Routes


Here is some interesting information concerning the ongoing MTA LIRR East Side Access to Grand Central Terminal project that seldom hear the MTA, LIRR, Governor Cuomo or Senators Schumer and Gillibrand ever talk about.

Thousands of daily LIRR riders whose trips originate from diesel territory branches will still have to change at Jamaica for those traveling to or from the future LIRR Grand Central Terminal or Atlantic Terminal Brooklyn. There will no longer be any direct thru service from Jamaica to Brooklyn. This impacts thousands of customers on trains operating between Jamaica and Brooklyn. They will have to walk up the stairs, take an escalator or elevator from platform levels off of Jamaica Station tracks one, two or three to the mezzanine level.

Next walk across the mezzanine and down the stairs, escalator or elevator to the new tracks 9 or 10. Then they will have to wait for the next scoot service train running between Jamaica and Atlantic Terminal Brooklyn on tracks 9 and 10. They will miss the good old days when it was a simple switch walking across the platform between tracks 1, 2 or & 3 to the desired Penn Station, Brooklyn, Hunters Point or Long Island City bound train. Who knows how long the will wait will be for a connecting train. When the Oyster Bay branch is converted to a permanent scoot shuttle service, riders will have to first switch at Mineola.

Travel time for thousands of LIRR riders bound for downtown Brooklyn, Wall Street, World Financial Center, World Trade Center or other destinations in downtown Manhattan via Atlantic Terminal will now have longer commutes. Depending upon how long the wait is for a connecting train from Jamaica to Brooklyn, this could add up between 5 to 10 minutes each way or a total of 20 minutes per day. It is doubtful that the LIRR scoot service between Jamaica and Brooklyn will be running with head ways every few minutes like a subway. Imagine how long one could be waiting to or from events at the Brooklyn Barclay Center or other off peak trains. Thousands of riders whose trains originated to or from Atlantic Terminal who once had a one seat ride will lose this benefit. Everyone will now have to change at Jamaica. This will impact those whose trains originate from Brooklyn. This conflicts with the MTA promise how the ESA project will save many LIRR riders up to 40 minutes each day round trip in daily commutes. So much for truth in advertising!

One riders gain in time savings (being able Manhattan midtown east side via Grand Central Terminal versus Penn Station) is a loss for another rider trying to access work via Atlantic Terminal Brooklyn. Pity riders on the Oyster Bay branch who will suffer the most.

—Larry Penner

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