A ripple effect that will be caused by eight weeks of repairs related to two recent train derailments at Penn Station will create what's being called a "Summer of Hell" for commuters, starting on Monday morning.
While NJ Transit and Long Island Railroad riders will be most affected, the shutdown of tracks for high priority repairs from Monday, July 10 to Friday, Sept. 1 and the resulting altered schedules will impact MTA customers as well.
"Monday will be a test," said MTA chairman Joe Lhota. "Tuesday will be a test, Wednesday will as well."
The MTA is encouraging its customers to avoid Penn Station and ride to other destinations and to take commuter buses or ferries, which are provided by the MTA.
Rockland commuters who take the Port Jervis or Pascack Valley lines to Secaucus Junction are bracing crowded PATH trains and a packed Hoboken Terminal. Click here for the latest updates on the Port Jervis and Pascack Valley lines and click this link for planned schedule adjustments on those lines.
"Our customer service ambassadors will be out in full force on Monday, guiding you through our system," Steven H. Santoro, Executive Director said in a letter to customers. "Don’t let unfamiliarity keep you from your best option. If at any point during your trip you need assistance, just look for our ambassadors in the bright yellow vests."
Penn Station, the busiest passenger transportation facility in the Western Hemisphere, is the main intercity railroad station in New York City and serves more than 600,000 commuter rail and Amtrak passengers a day.
New York City's railroads, subways and buses carry about 9 million riders each weekday.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency for the MTA following the latest derailment at Penn State. As part of the disaster declaration, $1 billion has been committed to the MTA capital plan.
Commuters are already weighing in with their thoughts on Twitter at #SummerofHell.
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