Due to delays and derailments, aging infrastructure and outdated technology, not to mention the wildlife, the New York City transit system has not had a great summer as each commute has become a gamble for riders who risk being late to work or worse. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has already declared a state of emergency for the Metropolitan Transit Authority, the organization that oversees the city’s public transportation system, and promised $1 billion in new capital for improvements, though no one knows where that money is going to come from.
Unfortunately for train riders, the summer is going to get even worse as Penn Station, the busiest train station in the country — one that serves riders from New Jersey, Long Island, communities north of the city, and New York City proper — is set to undergo much-needed track repair that will reduce the number of trains in and out of the station by 20% during a so-called “Summer of Hell.”
The station, owned by Amtrak, moved up the repairs after a year of derailments and sewer issues interfered with the station’s operations. MTA chairman Joe Lhota isn’t helping matters much by suggesting that riders who will be affected either wake up earlier or go into work later to avoid added congestion, according to the New York Post.
“Instead of taking the 7:05, take the 6:55,” said Lhota. “We’re asking Long Islanders who take the railway to change their habits. We have to be flexible, as well.”
Displaced riders will be given access to added ferry routes and buses, but Governor Cuomo has called for an end to all non-essential roadwork in order to clear the roads for the increased number of people driving to work.