Pols slam Hochul for ‘Hunger Games’ LIRR commutes as gov brushes it off

Zach Williams

Originally published in New York Post

 Long Island pols vented their rage Friday over what they called an “absolutely rushed” rollout by Gov. Kathy Hochul of the Grand Central Madison rail hub – causing mayhem for suburban commuters all week long.

Hochul, meanwhile, asked about the Jamaica LIRR hub commuters being forced to make a mad dash to far away platforms for connections — and endure commutes that are as much as an hour longer to get into the city — largely blew off the concerns in a call for patience.

But fellow Democrats say they, like their colleagues across the aisle, are getting dozens of angry calls and emails each from constituents about their disrupted trips into the five boroughs.

And pols say the governor’s push for more funding for the MTA in the state budget due April 1 is hardly well-timed given the ongoing nightmare experienced by people in Nassau and Suffolk counties where Republicans have made big gains in recent elections.

“The MTA’s history of failing to meet customer expectations, combined with its repeated request for additional funding without addressing underlying service and operations issues, only reinforces the need for greater accountability and efficiency within its operations,” state Sen. Monica Martinez (D-Hauppauge) said.

State Senate Consumer Protection Chair Kevin Thomas (D-Garden City) told The Post his constituents are “suffering” amid the off-the-rails changes to their daily journeys via key hubs like Penn Station in Manhattan, Jamaica, Queens and Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn.

“The buck stops with the governor on any matter involving a state-controlled entity. And what we have here is they wanted to open up a new station, but they did not think of the consequences of, or they should have thought about the consequences of, changing the schedule,” he said.