âItâs been very smooth,â Mr. Burke said on Wednesday. âActually, today, I got there 10 minutes earlier than usual.â
Mr. Burkeâs alternative route has become so popular with commuters that on Monday, the Long Island Rail Road added three Brooklyn-bound trains to Jamaica Station. During the morning peak, from 5 a.m. to 9:59 a.m., the number of commuters at Atlantic Terminal increased 50 percent, from 10,000 on an average day to 15,000 to 16,000.
Before the repairs began, Stacey Evans Greenberg, 34, used to take the Long Island Rail Road from Bellmore on Long Island to Penn Station, where she caught the E train north to her office near the Lexington Avenue-53rd Street stop.
She tried the Jamaica Station contingency plan twice, transferring there and riding the E straight to work. âNever again,â Ms. Greenberg said.
âMy commute was over two hours,â she said.
The ferries were not a viable option for Ms. Greenberg, who lives in East Meadow. She said they were too far to drive to.
âI donât think the contingency plan looked enough at where pockets of people live,â she said.
In New Jersey, the alternative bus routes and additional ferry service have been popular, said Charles Ingoglia, a spokesman for New Jersey Transit. Before the repairs began, about 3,950 commuters on the Morris and Essex Lines stopped at the Hoboken Terminal from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. on an average morning. About 10,000 to 14,000 commuters stop there now during that time.
The PATH transit system, which has honored New Jersey Transit tickets at three stations â Hoboken, World Trade Center and 33rd Street â has also experienced an increase in ridership, said Scott Ladd, a PATH…