First LIRR train travels to Grand Central Madison
If you commute to the east side of Manhattan, Wednesday was the day you've been waiting for.
The first train originated at Jamaica at 10:45 a.m., and ran express to the new Grand Central Madison station, arriving at 11:07 a.m.
News 12 Long Island has learned Gov. Kathy Hochul was riding that first train.
"For our commuters, we are giving them something that is precious," Hochul says. "We are giving them time back in their lives."
The LIRR will be offering shuttle service from Jamaica to Grand Central Madison for at least three weeks.
The project took years and cost $11.1 billion to complete. It gives commuters access to Manhattan's East Side, so they don't have to cross town from Penn Station.
The wait appeared worth it for Huntington resident John Solano, who was thrilled to be riding on the first day of service.
"It was a milestone, and I am really happy it finally came about," Solano says.
MTA President Janno Lieber says Long Island businesses will be able to recruit workers, creating reverse commuting on the LIRR thanks to the project.
Full service from Long Island to Grand Central will be scheduled following the initial phase.