Saturday, 18 November, 2017

NJ commuters faced with decisions as 'Summer of Hell' begins

Passengers in New York's Penn Station ride the escalators Monday Passengers in New York's Penn Station ride the escalators Monday
Tracy Craig | 11 July, 2017, 00:52

State Governor Andrew Cuomo had predicted the partial shutdown at New York's Pennsylvania Station would cause a "summer of hell" for the 600,000 who ride the train in and out of the station beneath Madison Square Garden.

The snarled evening commute at Penn Station in April following a derailment.

Even when it's complete, this summer's fix work will do little to alleviate overcrowding at Penn Station.

Trump has proposed eliminating a grant program that was to pay for half of the tunnel project, which is now estimated to cost about $13 billion. This was not known immediately, on Twitter New Jersey Transit.

"It's hard to imagine Amtrak, the Long Island Rail Road and New Jersey Transit doing a good job, but from my limited vantage point things seem to be running relatively smoothly", said Howard Bernstein, an attorney from Long Beach on Long Island who took the Long Island Rail Road to Manhattan to transfer to a PATH train to his job in Jersey City. Olive to Hoboken was too crowded so a multilevel train will be added to that route.

NJ Transit's Essex, Morris and Gladstone lines will be the most affected, as trains will be routed to Hoboken.

"Whether it's Gov. Christie stripping away the funding for a new tunnel or the missing-in-action Trump administration and Republican Congress, we are seeing a complete lack of leadership when it comes to advocating on behalf of our commuters and supporting our economy", said McKeon.

Amtrak, which operates the station, had been planning to make repairs to tracks and switches over the next several years.

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After a smooth start early Monday, the halls leading from New Jersey Transit trains to PATH trains in Hoboken were packed for over an hour.

In Maplewood, as commuters drifted in for the 7:01 a.m., they were met by a TV news van and boxes of doughnuts and coffee set out at the station entrance. The 35-year-old says everybody's just bumping into each other, pushing each other to get to their destination.

Track and signal work at Penn in July and August will curtail operations for Amtrak and its tenants, the Long Island Rail Road and NJ Transit commuter lines.

New Yorkers: if you commute through Penn Station, get ready for eight weeks of extensive train delays, cancellations and rerouting starting today.

"While the MTA claims it has enough train cars to accommodate all LIRR commuters, the game plan includes reducing the number of morning and evening trains to Penn Station with a mix of cancelations and reroutings to subway stations in Brooklyn and Queens". He says some commuters also could be on vacation. "Some of the buses are filling up, the ferries are working well, and our trains are all on time".

As the crowd of rail commuters heading into the country's busiest train station grew, so did the confusion. Anticipating an influx of additional riders, an MTA spokesman said the agency also added two No. 7 trains. The repairs are expected to last almost two months and to include the closure of a handful of tracks.

"The ferry is a stress-free commute because it's a guaranteed commute, it's a 99 percent on-time performance we have", said Jennifer Schuck, from the New York Waterway.

"The morning rush hour is going according to plan", said Lhota, who slipped onto a train from Jamaica to Atlantic Terminal around 8 a.m.

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