Monday, 23 October, 2017

Ferries, buses to be used to ease Penn Station summer crunch

Queens-Midtown Tunnel will have more lanes opened starting early next month Queens-Midtown Tunnel will have more lanes opened starting early next month
Laurie Berry | 13 June, 2017, 02:05

Governor Andrew Cuomo has made it no secret that he doubts Amtrak's ability to complete emergency fix work at Penn Station in a timely fashion this summer.

Amtrak is performing maintenance work at the station following a spate of derailments, breakdowns and other service interruptions in recent months.

The agency also plans to speed up construction on its bridges and tunnels to make more avenues for commuters, officials said.

"Our top priority is ensuring all New Yorkers can get where they need to go as quickly and easily as possible this summer and we're taking every conceivable step to prepare for Amtrak's summer of hell", Cuomo said. Major tunnel and bridge projects will be complete by July 8, he said.

Additionally, the Amtrak-related work will take longer than eight weeks and will extend (in the form of weekend repairs) through 2018.

Gov. Cuomo has ordered the MTA to finish all major bridge and tunnel construction projects to ease traffic into and out of Manhattan by July 8

Up to 20% of service will be cut from Penn Station during the morning and evening rush hours. Commuters searching for alternative ways to reach Manhattan "will crush an already overburdened subway system and clog roads and bridges", the Cuomo statement said.

While Amtrak owns and operates the station and is spearheading the repairs, New York's Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and NJ Transit also will see major disruptions because they lease track and station space and will have to reroute trains.

"As Amtrak conducts much-needed repairs at Penn Station this summer, we have been working hard to find a way to aggressively minimize the impact to LIRR commuters", said MTA Interim Executive Director Ronnie Hakim.

Ferries from Long Island City and Glen Cove will be added, as will bus service from several park-and-rides along the Long Island Expressway from 6 a.m.to 10 a.m. and from 3 a.m.to 7 p.m. Below is a summary of the changes to Amtrak's weekday schedule in effect from July 10 - September 1: Acela Express: No changes Northeast Regional Service: Three round trip trains (six total trains) between New York City and Washington, D.C. canceled.

Ongoing construction work on the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, Queens-Midtown Tunnel, Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, and Hugh L. Carry Tunnel will be complete by July 8th, according to the Governor's Office, in collaboration with the MTA and State Department of Transportation.

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