If you get to Manhattan’s Penn Station via NJ Transit’s Morris & Essex line, your commute is about to get complicated.
That’s because Amtrak’s emergency track repairs will detour all of the trains on NJ Transit’s second busiest line to Hoboken Terminal for most of the summer. From there, commuters will need to board PATH trains or ferries to reach their destination.
The silver lining, if there is one, is that monthly passes for affected passengers will be discounted, costing less than half what they would normally, and that passengers won’t be charged extra for the additional leg of the commute.
Riders of the Northeast Corridor and NJ Transit’s other lines will not be impacted by the repairs. “For three quarters of NJ Transit customers, travel patterns will not be modified in any way,” said Governor Chris Christie.
Repairs are scheduled for July 7 through 25 and then again August 4 through 28, representing the latest headache for commuters utilizing Penn Station. Revised train schedules for NJ Transit, the Long Island Railroad, and Amtrak have not yet been released, but news of the repairs was revealed during a Trenton press conference where Christie slammed Amtrak as “dishonest” and “incompetent.”
Rife with delays, disruptions, and derailments, Amtrak’s management of the station has come under fire from Christie and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo alike. In Tuesday’s press conference, Christie echoed Cuomo’s suggestion that Amtrak be replaced as the station’s operator.
The news conference with an exasperated Christie came hours after Amtrak made an early-morning track closure with no warning, creating delays of up to two hours.