NJ Transit releases ‘summer of hell’ schedule
NEWARK — New Jersey Transit has released its summer schedule to accommodate track work at New York Penn Station.
The new schedule, released on Friday at stations and at NJTransit.com, is in effect July 10 through Sept. 1.
Amtrak, which operates and maintains Penn Station, begins an intensive project at the 112-year-old station in July and August, and will shut down three tracks at a time to repair and replace aging infrastructure, work that originally was to have been accomplished over two to three years.
The catalyst for the accelerated schedule was a series of significant delays, two caused by train derailments, in the last few months.
New York Gov/ Andrew Cuomo said it will be a "summer of hell" for Penn Station commuters because of the delays, not only for NJ Transit riders, but also the Long Island Railroad.
The biggest changes are to the Morris & Essex Line, as the Midtown Direct, as previously announced, will end at Hoboken, with passengers diverted to NY Waterway ferries, PATH, and NJ Transit's 126 Bus. Train tickets will be cross-honored on the alternate modes of transportation.
Four inbound early morning trains, arriving before 7 a.m., will make the complete trip into Penn Station, but commuters will not have direct service for the return trip.
Morris & Essex riders will also get a 63 percent discount off their regular New York fare. NJ Transit urged M&E Midtown Direct customers to purchase a Hoboken destination ticket for July and August.
Riders on the Montclair-Boonton line will continue to have direct service into New York but without a stop at Broad Street in Newark. Hoboken-bound North Jersey Coast Line trains will end at Newark Penn Station but riders can continue to Secaucus and transfer to Hoboken-bound trains. Hoboken tickets will be honored at Secaucus.
"In developing this service plan, the safety of every customer was the top priority. Not only is this plan the safest, but it maintains the maximum number of seats across the rail system," NJ Transit Executive Director Steven Santoro said in a statement.
The Northeast Corridor, Raritan Valley Line, Main/Bergen, Pascack Valley and Port Jervis Lines are all unaffected by the work at Penn Station. NJ Transit said no weekend service will change in the new schedule.
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