From service cancellations to rerouting to more riders on less New Jersey Transit and Long Island Rail Road rains, it is sure to be a hellish two months indeed as Amtrak shuts down three of Penn Station's 21 tracks at a time for fix work.
The construction is due to stretch until early September and some New Jersey commuters are facing the decision of how they will face their new routes. Instead, the most noticeable inconvenience that Boston-based users of Penn Station might notice is more crowded Amtrak trains.
At rail stations Monday morning, some commuters were unaware that their New Jersey Transit tickets would be cross-honored by PATH. Customer-service staff in yellow vests helped riders navigate the changes.
Between now and September 1, as many as five of Penn Station's 21 tracks will be shut down for repairs.
While the commute had gone about as well as it could for most, the halls leading from NJ Transit trains to PATH trains were packed for over an hour and some people seemed bewildered at their new routine. This summer, those trains will start and end their runs at Pennsylvania Station in Newark. The 35-year-old says everybody's just bumping into each other, pushing each other to get to their destination.
While LIRR riders on an Atlantic Terminal-bound 7:50 a.m. train said they weren't used to riders standing in the aisles by the doors, others said their commuters were less crowded than usual.
Service has been stepped up by trains, buses and ferries in anticipation of the busier commute.
"Even though the No. 7 is more convenient, the squeeze is going to be not good", Ralph said.
Nick Sifuentes, the deputy director of the Riders Alliance, said Monday morning's commute was largely fine, but he's more concerned about what happens when everything doesn't go according to plan. About one out of every five commuter trains will be canceled or stop before reaching Manhattan. The repairs are expected to last almost two months and to include the closure of a handful of tracks.
"This is a crisis", New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer said in a July 9 statement releasing his office's report, in which one out of seven riders gave the subway a failing grade.
Several hundred thousand commuters on the Long Island Rail Road and New Jersey Transit will have to contend with fewer trains during peak periods, the result of track closures in Penn Station.
Around two hours after the derailment, the train passengers were moved to a "rescue train", Mr. Denison said.