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LIRR now goes to Grand Central Terminal

By Aliya Couillard, Staff Writer

 Photos by Marc A. Hermann/MTA

The Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) will now take you to Grand Central Terminal.

On Wednesday, Jan. 12, the LIRR opened a new terminal at Grand Central. With the train now going to both Penn Station and Grand Central, Long Island residents now have the option to go to the east or the west sides of Manhattan. The LIRR is the only major railroad in the New York City (NYC) metro area to have this option.

However, the train will require a transfer at the Jamaica Station in order to get passengers to Grand Central. There are currently no trains from anywhere in Nassau and Suffolk that will take you straight to Grand Central.  

Being a school on Long Island, Post students tend to be frequent LIRR users in order to get to the city. Although students haven’t tried going to the new terminal at Grand Central, they plan to. 

Sophomore education major Lauren Mathews expressed that she definitely plans to use the new terminal.

“I live in Westchester, not upstate, and my town has a train station and it goes to Grand Central not to Penn Station, so the LIRR now going to Grand Central will be more beneficial and easier if I want to go home for the weekend,” Mathews said. “My friend also goes to Columbia University [located on the upper east side of Manhattan] and that will make it a little more convenient to visit her rather than going to Penn.”

Sophomore business major Ela Kisin plans to use the new terminal soon.

“I’ve actually never been to Grand Central before, but I’m planning to take the LIRR to Grand Central because I’m visiting my friend who goes to West Point Military Academy,” Kisin shared.

Speech therapy graduate student Andrew Detres shared his reasons to use the terminal as well.

“A friend of mine just moved to the area near Grand Central terminal itself so a visit to his new place might give me a more concrete reason to go to that particular location,” he said.  

The Jamaica transfer wasn’t necessarily a deal breaker for students, however, it’s agreed that they would like to see a train from Long Island that goes directly to Grand Central. 

“That would be amazing [to have a train that goes direct] because rather than having to stop and transfer you can go straight [to Grand Central] and it will be easier for everyone,” Kisin expressed. 

However, despite the train station being only a mile apart, Kisin still thinks it’s worth going to Grand Central if you want to end up on the east side.

“The Jamaica transfer doesn’t take too long. I think it just depends on the day and timing of everything, but I would take the transfer to go to Grand Central rather than go to Penn and take the subway,” she said.  

 Photos by Marc A. Hermann/MTA

Mathews thinks a bit differently about the Jamaica transfer. 

“I’m not good at trains and it will make it easier to navigate [without the transfer],” Mathews voiced. “Me personally, I think it’s just more of a hassle, so I think people will be more turned off to it. I think in peoples’ heads, including my own, it just seems like more work.”

Now that students have the option to go to Penn Station and Grand Central, which one will they use more?

Detres was a bit on the fence, but ultimately had an answer. 

“That’s a tough one. I would guess that I would be using Penn Station as a preference only because most of the things I can think of that I would do in the city it would be easier to just go out of Penn. Of course, I’m not ruling out the door of that changing in the future,” he added.

Kisin thinks that Grand Central may be more of a preference for her. 

“I think it depends on where I want to go and my agenda. I think that just for timing I would rather go straight to Grand Central just because it’s closer to a lot of my favorite parks like Bryant and Central park,” she said. 

Overall, students feel that having the additional option to get to Grand Central on the LIRR will be beneficial. Whether you want to spend your city day on the east side of Manhattan or travel longer distances, the LIRR will now conveniently take you straight to the NYC station that may fulfill all your travel needs.  

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