As commuters who have been stuck in Penn Station, around Penn Station, on the LIRR, we thought writing about the nightmare might help us emotionally.
After endless (let’s say it again because that’s exactly how it feels…endless) delays, it seems that much needed repairs will be going on at Penn Station. At this very moment we are deciding if we should take a break from blog writing and book a very long vacation for the whole summer to skip this mess!
Anyway, back to the topic at hand. Even Gov. Andrew Cuomo is calling it the “summer of hell”. Tell your boss that you’ll be late from July 10 through September 1st because tracks will be closed for repairs.
After two derailments and too many switch problems to count, officials announced in early June that the repairs would be taking place.
Affected service will include several of Amtrak’s lines. In plain terms this means cutting three trains a day from Washington D.C. New Jersey Transit will also have its share of problems when service is diverted on its Morris & Essex lines to Hoboken. Those lucky riders will be forced onto the PATH train or ferries.
Our readers on Long Island should expect to be diverted from Penn Station to Atlantic Terminal or to Hunters Point or Jamaica. Although the MTA announced yesterday that it will add three new rush hours trains to the schedule and 36 more cars on existing trains to increase capacity, we still anticipate a hellish and very hot summer commute coming up.
Did you know? NJ Transit and the LIRR are the nation’s busiest commuter rails. Each transports more than 300,000 passengers on a typical weekday!
New Yorkers can be creative and it sounds like Cuomo has his thinking cap on. He’s talked about possible stopgap measures like high-speed ferries and buses as well as carpool lanes to ease the burden caused by the train service changes. But can all of those people be squeezed into alternate modes of transportation? Is the summer light enough with people taking vacation that it won’t be as bad as we fear?
It’s hard to be hopeful when the East Side Access, a $10.2 billion project, slated to wrap up in December 2022, is 13 years behind schedule and expected to come in at double its initial projected cost.
There was also the Hudson River rail tunnel project that was killed by Governor Chris Christie in 2010, was apparently back on, but was again defunded by the new President. That project could have potentially alleviated 20% to 30% of traffic into Penn Station…but we digress.
Instead of finding alternate routes and hoping for the best, maybe we should plan on working poolside this summer! Cyber commuting is sounding better and better. If only we could cyber commute to Court…