After months of planning and dread, the “summer of hell” has arrived on Long Island.
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6:46 p.m. Penn Station
6:30 p.m. Mineola
Nick Ward, 30, lives in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and commutes to Mineola for his job at Dealerweb, a fixed income brokerage in Garden City. He’s been doing the reverse commute, which takes an hour and 10 minutes “on a good day,” for three months. The trip Monday morning was smooth, but Ward said “today is the first day of service changes, but not the first day of commuter headaches. Every day it’s something.”
— Ken Schachter
6:30 p.m. Hunterspoint Avenue
5:10 p.m. Atlantic Terminal
A line was brewing outside the LIRR tracks Monday afternoon at Atlantic Terminal — but not for a seat.
A few minutes before hopping on the 4:16 p.m. train to Babylon, Ken McLellan, 47, bought two Coors Lights at the terminal’s bar. Usually he’ll grab one. “I don’t know how long the ride’s going to be. I want to be prepared,” the Manhattan attorney said.
Justin Miata, 26, an accountant from Elmont, was headed home from Atlantic Terminal on the Hempstead line and bought a Coors Light at the bar. He had an appointment in Brooklyn Monday, but said he would head to the Hunterspoint Avenue station during the summer to avoid the crush of commuters at Jamaica. “I know it’s going to be hectic, and I’d rather get a different train away from the chaos at Penn. The beer, he said, is refreshing after a hot day.
Nearby, Valerie Purcell, a social worker heading to St. Albans, was sipping on a vodka and tonic as she waited for her train. “It’s going OK,” she said, calling the LIRR civilized. “Where else can you come for cocktails and read your books?”
— Scott Eidler
3:40 p.m. Penn Station
The real test of the #summerofhell for the LIRR will be when there is a 'signal problem' in Jamaica on top of the modified schedule.— Lance Millionz (@Lancealotlinks) July 10, 2017