NJ Transit officials released a detailed summer schedule on Wednesday that it says keeps travel patterns the same for 75 percent of rail customers during Amtrak track work at Penn Station New York, but sticks to a controversial plan to send Morris & Essex lines trains to Hoboken Terminal.
But the schedule comes with an official disclaimer that “delays on all rail lines, except the Atlantic City line, are inevitable.”
Welcome to what riders are calling “the summer of commuting hell.”
The schedule runs from July 10 to Sept. 1.
While all Midtown Direct trains will be diverted to Hoboken — except for Montclair-Boonton Line trains — M&E commuters will receive a 50 percent discount off fares to and from Hoboken. Their tickets will be cross honored on PATH trains and ferries.
Commuters and elected officials criticized this plan for placing the burden on riders of one line.
To avoid overcrowding and confusions, Hoboken also will be staffed with NJ Transit employees to help assist customers, said Nancy Snyder, an NJ Transit spokeswoman. Plans call for more signs, additional police officers and station managers, she said.
Trains on NJ Transit’s busiest line, the Northeast Corridor and on the North Jersey Coast Line will run on a regular weekday schedule and there will be minor schedule adjustments.
Raritan Valley line trains will run on a regular schedule, except for trains to and from New York, which will run on an adjusted timetable.
Main/Bergen, Pascack Valley and Port Jervis line trains will run on a regular schedule, but officials warned those commuters that they may have to switch connecting trains that they take between Secaucus Junction and New York.
Weekend service to and from New York will run on a regular schedule.
The pain won’t be over after Sept. 1, as Amtrak officials said that a third outage for track repairs would happen sometime in 2018.
Larry Higgs may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter