New Yorkers: if you commute through Penn Station, get ready for eight weeks of extensive train delays, cancellations and rerouting starting today.
Dubbed the “summer of hell” by commuter-beloved Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Amtrak has begun major station track renewals and signalling switches updates—long-awaited emergency repairs needed at the country’s busiest transportation facility.
Though the transportation hell for Amtrak riders is just beginning, the past few months have already been a nightmare for regular commuters to the city. Three NJ Transit trains derailed in Penn Station just this last year, the most recent occurring days before the planned repairs.
Additionally, a crumbling subway infrastructure within the city caused massive stops, delays and even a derailment that resulted in 34 passengers injured.
Fed up, two commuters filed a class action lawsuit against the Metro Transit Authority and Long Island Rail Road in mid-June, charging the agencies with negligence and infliction of emotional distress, the NY Post reported.
Overcrowding has prompted much of the infrastructural issues this summer. Originally intended to accommodate 200,000 passengers per day, Penn Station now serves 600,000 commuters coming from New Jersey, Long Island and upstate New York on an average weekday. Amtrak, co-owner of Penn Station alongside the MTA, reported a 3 million passenger increase in just the last ten years.
To aid riders, MTA offered reduced fare for some LIRR riders, and added ferries and charter bus services to commuters. The state agency also reportedly offered to sign tardy slips with its own letterhead, since the real world operates just like elementary school:
“While the MTA claims it has enough train cars to accommodate all LIRR commuters, the game plan includes reducing the number of morning and evening trains to Penn Station with a mix of cancelations and reroutings to subway stations in Brooklyn and Queens. Said reroutings will likely increase subway congestion at Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn and Hunters Point in Queens—a ripple effect that will impact subway commuters currently burdened with their own set of service-related woes,” Gothamist reported.
Commuting around New York is getting more impossible by the minute. Brace yourself.
Notice any absurd infrastructure issues around the city, or have a commute-related rant you need to let out? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.