Penn Station Construction Begins Today, Triggering Delays for Commuters

Toni Houston
July 11, 2017

New York City commuters endured the start to a "summer of hell" on Monday, when track repairs at the nation's busiest rail hub caused rerouted trains, packed platforms and lengthy delays for tourists, financiers and the working class in the USA business capital.

"Getting home is what I'm anxious about", said Corey Wright, 38, who commutes from Huntington, Long Island, to Penn Station.

Earlier this morning on New York's subway system, signal problems led to delays for the northbound 2 and 5 trains and southbound A, C and E trains.

Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer and Cory Booker called on the Trump administration to honor that commitment at a news conference near the spot on Manhattan's west side Monday where preliminary work has already begun.

With the exception of four trains that reach Penn by 7 a.m., commuters who have relied on NJ Transit's Morris-Essex line to get to Manhattan in less than an hour are being diverted to Hoboken during the eight weeks of work.

"I think more people are trying out the buses, more people driving in and I think a lot of people said 'Screw it, I'll take a vacation, '" one commuter said.

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. On Thursday night, there was another minor derailment at the station.

Penn Station Construction Begins Today, Triggering Delays for Commuters

Since the early birds get to skip Hoboken, NJ TRANSIT platforms in Chatham and Summit were unusually packed around 6 a.m. with commuters who woke up early to catch the last direct train to Penn Station Monday.

Extra buses that ran from Newark Broad Street, South Orange, Maplewood and Summit train stations in the morning will not run in the evening, meaning commuters need to find a different way home, he said.

Booker said it's time for Trump to "put up or shut up". The 35-year-old says everybody's just bumping into each other, pushing each other to get to their destination. "I've been using LIRR for the past 11 years and it's been good", said Tamer Seoud, chief financial officer for the non-profit Lutheran Social Services of NY. The vast majority are commuters riding New Jersey Transit and the Long Island Railroad.

NJ TRANSIT riders are dealing with service changes as Amtrak begins major repairs at Penn Station on Monday.

In response to the issues, PATH is adding enough trains so that one will arrive every five minutes.

Authorities have asked commuters to give themselves more time to travel until the end of August when work is scheduled to be completed.


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