NJ Politics Digest: Good News—Finally—for New Jersey’s Penn Station Commuters

New Jersey Transit riders got some good news last week from Amtrak officials about how repair work will impact trains coming and going from New York's Penn Station.

Commuters head from New Jersey Transit trains to PATH trains during a morning commute to Penn Station on the first day of interruptions in Hoboken, New Jersey on July 10, 2017. Photographer:
Commuters head from New Jersey Transit trains to PATH trains during a morning commute to Penn Station. Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images

New Jersey Transit riders got some good news last week from Amtrak officials about how repair work will impact trains coming and going from New York’s Penn Station.

“The actual interruption due to the track work we’re doing this summer is significantly reduced from that of last year,” said Amtrak Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Scot Naparstek, according to a NJSpotlight report.

Last year, repair work disrupted schedules and operations, prompting transportation officials to warn of a “summer of hell.”

The hassles, however, proved less dire than predicted.

On Friday Naparstek said workers have made a lot of progress in the ensuing year. While the work will continue this summer, it won’t necessitate as many changes to schedules and rail lines, according to the report.

Penn Station is the nation’s busiest rail hub, with more than 500,000 area commuters using the facility on any given day, according to the report.

The repair work comes as regional transportation officials continue pushing for federal funding for the planned Gateway project, which would make a series of upgrades to local transportation infrastructure, including a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River.
The project is expected to cost around $30 million, though President Donald Trump has expressed opposition to the federal government fulfilling what proponents say was an Obama-era commitment to provide about half of the funding for the plan.

Quotes of the Day, Part One: “There is no April surprise. Instead, we have a May reality check—a reality check on the urgent need for new revenues.” — New Jersey Treasurer Elizabeth Muoio

Quotes of the Day, Part Two: “There’s not enough taxes to be raised to correct what’s wrong in New Jersey at this point.” — Senate President Steve Sweeney.

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