Commuters brace for transit chaos as Amtrak work looms

Posted: Updated:

New Jersey commuters say that they are bracing for what they are calling the “Summer of Hell” as service changes prompted by Amtrak’s New York Penn Station improvements loom.

The service changes being Monday and are expected to last for two months. Passengers who ride the Morris and Essex lines will not be able to travel directly to Penn Station, and will have to stop in Hoboken to find alternative means into New York.

“That’s going to make sure I don’t get to work on time every day,” says passenger Kaine Rosado.

New Jersey Transit spokesman Charles Ingoglia says that commuters need to make preparations now, before the Monday morning commute.

“The people that do their homework are going to have an easier time [traveling] than the folks that get off the train [unprepared],” he says.

The 23,000 commuters on the Morris and Essex lines will see the most impact by the changes. Passengers needing to travel into Manhattan will have to take the PATH or a ferry into Manhattan. The Morris and Essex lines, as well as some additional buses won’t be traveling from Manhattan to Hoboken either.

“Be aware of what service you took in, because it may not be available on the way out,” Ingoglia says.

Most of the NJ Transit lines will stay intact, but the agency says that three out of four riders will be affected by schedule changes.

Amtrak says that the agency is on schedule with the improvements, but unforeseen delays may cause work plans to change.

Ingoglia says that NJ Transit will promise fast communication with its riders if that should happen.

“We can't predict everything that’s going to happen to you. But we can tell you we're going to do our best to tell you what we know as soon as we know it,” he says.

News 12 New Jersey has compiled a list of commuter resources to help commuters, which can be found HERE.

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