Video of New York commuters frantically switching tracks for connecting train at LIRR station goes viral
A video of New York City commuters rushing to make their connecting train at a Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) station has gone viral, prompting travellers to express their frustrations with the city’s public transportation.
In a video posted to Twitter on Tuesday, a woman documented a group of commuters at an LIRR station in Jamaica, Queens. The caption of the video reads: “Watch the mad dash LIRR commuters have to make at Jamaica to get from one track to another to make their connection in time with the new schedules.”
The clip proceeded to show many people running up the stairs and escalators in the station, in order to switch to another track. One of the train station’s workers could also be heard making an announcement about the trains.
The small window that commuters appear to have to make their train came after the launch of the MTA’s (Metropolitan Transportation Authority) latest change: offering full LIRR train service to Grand Central Madison.
As of 3 March, the video has more than 481, 800 views, with Twitter users calling the MTA out and expressing their anger over how their commutes have changed.
“It’s terribly unsafe,” one viewer wrote. “I watched an old lady today get pushed aside because people were running to their ‘shuttle’ which of course had the doors closed already.”
“Hey @MTA @LIRR fix this. You could easily have connecting trains pull up to facilitate cross-platform transfers. This is unacceptable and needs to be fixed asap. Come on,” another said.
A third added: “Got to Jamaica last night at 5.24pm to connect to the 5.24pm train to Wantagh. The connecting train sat at the station with the doors closed for three to four minutes. Customers were banging on the door but the conductor would not open. Two days in a row of just a disaster.”
On Monday 27 February, the LIRR began serving at Grand Central Madison, with 30 per cent of Manhattan-bound customers travelling to that station that day and 70 per cent travelling to Penn Station, according to the MTA.
The transportation service also noted that, since its offering service to Grand Central, there will be 271 LIRR trains operating per day. This is a 41 per cent increase in service, compared to the 936 trains that were running per weekday.
Watch the mad dash LIRR commuters have to make at Jamaica to get from one track to another to make their connection in time with the new schedules. pic.twitter.com/6CJ8BTxHOf
— Catalina Gonella (@catalinagonella) February 28, 2023
However, many commuters have said MTA’s latest update has resulted in new train transfers. More specifically, during an interview with New York 1, passengers who used to take LIRR trains directly to Atlantic Terminal or Penn Station noted that they now have to transfer at Jamaica station.
“Trains would all come at 7.23am, a train to Long Island City, a train to Penn Station and a train to Atlantic Terminal and they would wait for each other if they were late, but that doesn’t exist anymore so if you miss your train then you miss your train,” Camille Cameron said. “And there is no more connecting so you have to run to make sure you are there on time.”
During an interview with The New York Post, a teacher named Samantha said that travelling to her job in Brooklyn, from New Hyde Park, has also become more challenging than it used to be.
“I’m running from Track 12 to Track Three, then they change it to Track Four? That’s five flights of stairs!” she explained, when describing how she has to transfer trains to Jamaica. “I’m now waiting 15 minutes with a lot of people who also work in Brooklyn!”
“They need to add more trains to Brooklyn or go back to the way it was before,” she added.
During a press conference on Thursday, LIRR Interim President Catherine Rinaldi addressed the complaints over the train service, and said that some changes would be made.
“What we’ve seen this week is crowding onto Penn trains,” she said, as reported by Pix 11. “We’ve already started to address that by lengthening some of those trains, and you‘ll see a lot more of that next week. So I think that beginning next week, some of the problems and issues we’ve been seeing in Jamaica will become much better.”
The Independent has contacted the MTA and the LIRR for comment.