11 July, 2017
Following months of assurances from transit officials and a slow trickle of details about trains canceled and rerouted, the best efforts of Amtrak, the MTA and New Jersey Transit are being put to the test today. But they are resigned to using even delayed trains, buses or ferries given the even-longer delays they'd face in numerous region's regular traffic jams.
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.
During the work, New York City area commuters will face major delays due to significant reductions in commuter rail service on New Jersey Transit and the Long Island Railroad.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo warned as early as May that the fix work would spell a "summer of hell for commuters".
To accommodate the replacing of tracks and signals, commuter rail service is being reduced by about 20 percent, and Amtrak will run fewer trains between NY and Washington, D.C.
Lex Marshall of Morristown says there's a lot of confusion and too many people gathered in one space. "Everybody's just bumping into each other, pushing each other to get to their destination".
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Brendan Delany, who commutes two hours each way from New Jersey to NY, directed his ire at Amtrak, which owns and operates Penn Station.
Service has been stepped up by trains, buses and ferries in anticipation of the busier commute.
On Monday, Amtrak plans to begin repairing tracks and switches at Penn Station that will limit service to the hub through September 1.
The repairs are expected to last through August. Extensive disruptions are expected for both New Jersey Transit and Long Island Rail Road commuters.
In a survey aimed at illustrating the financial hardship caused by the city's subway system, almost 75 percent of respondents blamed trains for their late arrival at work during the last three months, while 13 percent said they'd been docked wages.
Commuters are advised to sign up for MTA alerts, buy tickets ahead of time and travel closer to the start or end of rush hour to avoid crowds.