NJ Transit Is Back With Three Months of Train Diversions at Penn

(Bloomberg) -- No one’s calling it the Summer of Hell. But for at least 5,000 New Jersey Transit train commuters about to be booted from New York Pennsylvania Station, it’ll be three months of extra travel time.

Ten rush-hour trains with Midtown Direct service to and from New York City instead will use the Hoboken, New Jersey, terminal starting in June while Penn Station track repairs are underway in Manhattan, according to the commuter railroad. By comparison, similar work two years ago affected at least 70 daily runs.

Four Montclair-Boonton trains and one on the North Jersey Coast Line mostly will arrive in Hoboken a few minutes earlier in the morning and leave slightly later in the evening on weekdays from June 17-Sept. 6, NJ Transit officials said. Morris & Essex Midtown Direct trains also won’t stop at Newark Broad Street during morning and evening peak periods to prevent platform crowding.

The roughly 5,000 passengers shifted to Hoboken will be eligible for discounted NJ Transit tickets to offset the cost of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey subway and New York Waterway ferry for the Hudson River part of the trip. The changes are necessary while Amtrak, Penn Station’s owner, works on two tracks, according to NJ Transit.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo had predicted “the Summer of Hell” in 2017, when Penn closed some tracks during eight weeks of repair. Though at least 70 daily NJ Transit trains were affected, the commute was relatively smooth as vacations, work-from-home arrangements and NJ Transit-paid ferries kept crowds down. Kevin Corbett, NJ Transit’s executive director, told reporters on May 1 that the railroad “weighed every option in order to impact the least number of customers while maintaining as many peak-period seats as possible.”

The railroad urged riders to check for service changes at www.njtransit.com/inform.

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