Whether or not the situation will be harder for commuters to bear as the track work continues remains to be seen, but rail passengers had their own assessments of the situation, of which they wanted the people running the MTA to take heed.
Long Island Railroad riders reported slightly longer commutes and fewer free seats during an otherwise smooth commute Monday, kicking off a relatively un-hellish start to emergency Penn Station fix work and the much anticipated "summer of hell". From there, riders can hop on a PATH train, a NY Waterway Ferry or a NJ Transit 126 bus to make their way into the city. "People might try different things, but ultimately people are going to figure it out".
The repairs were initially scheduled for nights and weekends over a few years, but recent derailments and other problems that spotlighted the station's aging infrastructure convinced Amtrak to accelerate the work schedule. The official New Jersey Transit described this episode as minor derailment in association with the Amtrak officials operating the station and tracks referred this as a "slow speed derailment".
Elsewhere, some took advantage of alternative modes of transportation put in place by the Long Island Rail Road and NJ Transit to accommodate overflow due to reduced rush-hour train service. There also was light volume in the Long Island Expressway's HOV lanes [between Exits 52 and 33], with speeds of no less than 50 miles per hour during the a.m. rush, officials said. That, said spokesman Mike Tolbert, should leave enough capacity at Penn Station for Boston trains to run on time. "Said reroutings will likely increase subway congestion at Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn and Hunters Point in Queens-a ripple effect that will impact subway commuters now burdened with their own set of service-related woes", Gothamist reported. But both riders and officials figured that day one wasn't frightful.
"Lately it s been much longer than today", admitted logistics worker Thomas Fletcher, dashing off the train from Newark and walking at breakneck pace through the station en route to work. But because the New York-New Orleans service is being diverted from Penn Station during repairs, passengers will now need to transfer elsewhere along the line.
When the work is completed, rail riders are anticipated to benefit from up-to-date equipment in and around the station. But that's where it ends, basically.
"I'm concerned about what happens tonight", Lhota said. It suddenly ended in Hoboken, instead of continuing to New York Penn Station.
However, both the $29 billion Gateway Tunnel (two additional tracks connecting New Jersey via the Hudson River to Penn Station) and $3 billion Moynihan Station Farley Building projects fail to add any new additional tracks or platforms at Penn Station.
Road construction will be suspended near New York City to ease traffic congestion during Penn Station repairs, Gov. Cuomo announced Sunday.
And if you're one of those commuters, you also know that things were not flawless before today's track repairs began.