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Susan Shattuck arriving at Port Washington from Penn Station on the slightly late 4:03 on Wednesday, Dec. 21 during the transit workers strike.

Susan Shattuck smiled, looking rather calm and serene, as she exited the 4:03 p.m. train on Wednesday, Dec. 21, even though it was 10 minutes late arriving at Port Washington and many riders couldn't sit. The biggest problem is probably that the trains are leaving a little later. The 9:11 going into Penn Station on Wednesday morning left at 9:30 a.m. She thought the delay was possibly caused by the extra stops. Two extra stops inbound included Shea Stadium where Queens residents entered, Shea being a parking area for commuters who want to take the LIRR. Susan's friends in Brooklyn told her about their arduous walk into Manhattan to go to work. She said she felt "more fortunate" to be able to use the LIRR.

Barbara Ebb, her two very young daughters and her parents pulling luggage also seemed peaceful. Her parents had traveled from Bethesda, MD using Amtrak and experienced only a little delay and some crowding at Penn Station. The worst incident was being a witness to a short shouting match between a policeman and a commuter. Barbara's husband, who was on the next train expected to arrive at 4:34, told her by cell phone that he had to wait 10 minutes outside on line.

Joe Burden liked the fact that on Wednesday there was an earlier express train. But coming home he had to leave his office an hour later so as not to experience all the congestion. He could have stayed overnight in his one-bedroom apartment in the West Village but his office is closer to Penn Station so it's easier for him to take the LIRR from Port Washington. Carl Gustafson traveled downtown to Christopher Street from Penn Station on the New Jersey Path train both Tuesday and Wednesday, but he had to take a taxi to come uptown which worked fine on Tuesday. More people went to work on Wednesday so that by the time the taxi got to 20th Street the gridlock prevented it from moving. Carl then got out and walked to Penn Station. Waiting at Penn Station, more crowded than before, he added an hour to his commute.

Commenting on the crowded condition of Penn Station during rush hour on the first night of the strike, one young woman likened it to a rock concert, where everyone is "elbow to elbow."


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