Hudson Valley commuters face "Summer of Hell"

Hudson Valley commuters face

Hudson Valley commuters face "Summer of Hell"

Today's the day. Extensive track repairs at Penn Station mean that about 17,000 commuters who regularly take NJ Transit or the Long Island Railroad into the city now have to use alternate routes for the next eight weeks.

Mindy Zelen, a psychologist who expected at least 30 minutes of extra commuting time to and from Penn Station, said the offer of coffee was "sweet but it doesn't make up for the mess we're facing". Amtrak is also reducing train service between NY and Washington.

William Henderson, director of the watchdog group Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA, predicted Monday that the "summer of hell" routine will take a few days to settle in.

He says almost all the passengers getting off NJ Transit trains were flooding into the same PATH entrance, leaving a second one much less crowded.

"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. "Everybody's just bumping into each other, pushing each other, to get to their destination".

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. If elected, Guadagno said she plans to create a new funding formula for transpiration and eliminate a four-member panel that now oversees transportation.

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Why? Because Amtrak is cancelling three New York-to-Washington trains; and, per the Globe's Adam Vaccaro, "more passengers between NY and Washington may be forced to squeeze aboard trains that start or end their journeys in Boston". "Our customers seem to have done their homework".

A massive two-month fix project, dubbed the "Summer of Hell", launches today at the busiest train station in the United States, and Hudson Valley rail commuters used to regular delays and service disruptions are bracing for the worst.

The work is scheduled to last through the end of August.

The LIRR urged riders to visit their new website,, to help commuters navigate the changes.

Speaking Monday morning, MTA chairman Joseph Lhota said, so far, "everything has been on time" and "working according to plan".

"The test - the second piece of this is tonight", said Charles Ingoglia, an NJ Transit spokesman said. To minimize disruption to the commuter services, Amtrak historically has done most of the track work overnight and on weekends.

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