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Trump Administration Official Throws Cold Water on Gateway Tunnel Funding Agreement

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December 30,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, earlier this month Gov. Chris Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced commitments to fund 100 percent of their respective share of the new Gateway tunnel. The agreement follows a 2015 framework agreement in which the federal government agreed to fund 50 percent of the project.

The agreement for a combined $5.5 billion states that the State of New York will contribute $1.75 billion with NJ Transit committing $1.9 billion and the Port Authority contributing $1.9 billion.

But the Trump administration through cold water on the idea on Friday . In a letter to New York and New Jersey officials, a top Federal Transit Administration Deputy Administrator Jane Williams signaled that the Trump administration would not recognize the agreement struck under former President Barack Obama that called for the federal government to pay half the cost of the project.

The letter stated that ,“There is no such agreement,” and “We consider it unhelpful to reference a nonexistent ‘agreement’ rather than directly address the responsibility for funding a local project where nine out of 10 passengers are local transit riders,”

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NJ TRANSIT SAYS LEAVE YOUR BOOZE AT HOME DURING SANTACON

SantaCon

December 9, 2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, just a reminder if you are traveling in and out of the city today ,be it for SantCon or not ,NJ TRANSIT is prohibiting liquid beverages on all of its trains, light rail vehicles and buses on Saturday December 9th and the early morning of Sunday December 10th to coincide with the annual SantaCon event in New York City.

NJT says ,”This policy will be strictly enforced. ”

Reminder: All beverages, including alcohol, are not permitted on NJ TRANSIT buses at any time regardless of event.

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AMTRAK: Major Work to Impact New York Penn Station in January 

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Two A.M. Peak and Three P.M. Peak Trains To Be Affected On NEC and NJCL Beginning January 8

November 14, 2017

Ridgewood NJ,  Upcoming Amtrak track work at Penn Station New York (PSNY) will impact select NJ TRANSIT peak period train service along the Northeast Corridor (NEC) and North Jersey Coast Line (NJCL) with scheduled service adjustments to begin on January 8, 2018 through May 28, 2018.

The work will mainly affect a total of five trains per day which includes two in the a.m. peak and three in the p.m. peak periods.  Of these five trains, one NJCL train in both the a.m. and p.m. will be diverted to Hoboken; one NEC train in both the a.m. and p.m. will terminate/originate at Newark Penn Station and another NJCL train in the p.m. will be cancelled.  Other trains may have adjustments made to the timetable or station stops, and customers are advised to check the service timetables carefully.

“While this impact is far less than what we experienced this past summer, we encourage our Northeast Corridor and North Jersey Coast Line customers to do their homework and adjust their commuting plans if needed,” said Executive Director Steven H. Santoro.  “I want to thank our customers in advance as we continue to support Amtrak’s efforts to renew critical infrastructure at Penn Station New York and avoid a repeat of the derailments we saw this past spring.”

The affected trains are as follows:

A.M.

NJCL train 3216, the 6:11 a.m. eastbound Long Branch departure, will now depart at 6:23 a.m. and will be diverted to Hoboken renumbered as 2604
NEC train 3122, the 7:06 a.m. eastbound departure from New Brunswick will terminate at Newark Penn Station renumbered as 5822.

P.M.

NJCL train 3267, the 5:25 p.m. departure from PSNY, will originate from Hoboken at 5:22 p.m. renumbered as 2609
NEC train 3171, the 5:43 p.m. departure from PSNY, will originate at Newark Penn Station at 6:03 p.m. renumbered as 5869
NJCL train 3441, the 6:51 p.m. departure from PSNY, will be cancelled
Customers are advised that trains prior to or following the affected trains may experience crowded conditions.

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AMTRAK SAYS PENN STATION REPAIRS LIKELY TO END SOON AFTER LABOR DAY

Ridgewood Train Station

JOHN REITMEYER | AUGUST 7, 2017

Upgrades right on schedule, agency says, but there might be more work needed after summer is over that could affect NJ Transit commuters

The major repairs at New York’s Penn Station that have pushed thousands of New Jersey Transit commuters off their normal routes into Manhattan this summer are right on-schedule after the first month of work.

The steady progress means service changes that have been in place since early July are still likely to end soon after Labor Day. But with the aging station and its heavily used infrastructure in need of even more fixing up once summer ends, additional track outages that could again impact NJ Transit may be looming.

According to the latest update from Amtrak, the agency that owns Penn Station and has been leading the ongoing repairs, workers will need roughly another month to finish fixing up Track 10 and a part of the facility that includes a very busy section known as “A Interlocking.” While the workers still have “considerable challenges ahead,” Gery Williams, Amtrak’s chief engineer, said they remain on course to complete those repairs by September 4.

“Really, overall, we’ve had a really, good week,” Williams told reporters on Friday as the project reached its official midway point. “From the project aspect, we’re 50 percent completed.”

“We’re very focused on delivering by Labor Day,” he said.

http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/17/08/06/amtrak-says-penn-station-repairs-likely-to-end-soon-after-labor-day/

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Train-mageddon Starts July 10 and runs through Friday, September 1, 2017

penn station njt

June 3,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, its coming ,the modified Service Plan Due to Amtrak’s Summer Track Repair Work in Effect Monday, July 10 through Friday, September 1, 2017

NJ TRANSIT rail customers have been forced to deal with delays, derailments and unreliable service because Amtrak, which owns the tracks our service relies upon, has neglected the maintenance of its critical infrastructure for years. For three-quarters of NJ TRANSIT rail customers travel patterns will not be modified, including the Trenton to New York Northeast Corridor Line. However, delays on all rail lines, except for the Atlantic City Rail line, are inevitable.

Long overdue Amtrak track repair work will significantly disrupt travel this summer for customers who normally travel on the Morris & Essex Midtown Direct service to and from Penn Station New York. As a result, for their inconvenience, Morris & Essex Lines customers will receive about a 50 percent discount off the regular Hoboken ticket cost, in addition to cross-honoring with ferry and PATH service at Hoboken Terminal.

Below is the overall rail service plan for customers who will be traveling into Penn Station New York and Hoboken Terminal this summer.

NJ TRANSIT Service Plan for July 10th – September 1st
The following weekday rail service plan will be in place continuously from July 10th through September 1st.

Midtown Direct trains on the Morristown Line will be diverted to Hoboken.
Midtown Direct trains on the Gladstone Branch will be diverted to Hoboken.
All Midtown Direct trains on the Montclair-Boonton Line will operate on regular weekday schedules with minor time changes to/from PSNY.
All Northeast Corridor and North Jersey Coast Line trains will operate on regular weekday schedules with minor time changes to/from PSNY.
Raritan Valley Line will operate on regular weekday schedules with adjustments to PSNY schedules.
Main/Bergen, Pascack Valley and Port Jervis Lines will operate on regular weekday schedules however customers may need to adjust their connections to New York at Secaucus.

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Ridgewood Commuter update from New Jersey Transit

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June 1,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Assemblywomen Holly Schepisi shares a commuter update from New Jersey Transit.

COMMUTER UPDATE from NJ Transit:

NJ TRANSIT has heard from our customers that their lives have been turned upside down by the almost daily delays resulting from Amtrak’s emergency repair work that is going on at Penn Station New York (PSNY). This is before the continuous summer work that Amtrak will perform in July and August.

Amtrak has acknowledged that it must do extensive and disruptive work to its tracks and infrastructure at PSNY this summer due to years of its neglect. NJ TRANSIT has challenged Amtrak to make the necessary repairs and Amtrak maintains this work must be done now.

Amtrak’s summer repair and renewal work will reduce the number of trains that NJ TRANSIT can send in-and-out-of PSNY, particularly during peak periods. With Amtrak taking out multiple tracks that NJ TRANSIT uses every single day, NJ TRANSIT developed a modified summer rail schedule that will be in effect from July 10th through September 1st. The location and extent of Amtrak’s work means that instead of being able to send 21 trains into New York during the busiest hours of the morning rush, NJ TRANSIT will send 15.

Even under these constraints, NJ TRANSIT’s experienced transportation service planners were able to develop a service plan that allows three-quarters of our customers to continue to experience their regular travel pattern into New York. Nearly all customers traveling on the Northeast Corridor, North Jersey Coast Line, Raritan Valley, Montclair-Boonton, Pascack Valley, Main/Bergen and the Port Jervis Lines will continue their same travel pattern as they do today.

However, there is an impact to having fewer trains per-hour into New York during this two-month period; some of NJ TRANSIT’s customers will move to a two-seat ride into-and out-of Manhattan each weekday.

Recognizing the inconvenience of the affected customers on the Morris & Essex Lines, they will be charge much lower fares – 50 to 63 percent less than the price they usually pay for tickets and passes. To provide the maximum number of travel options, we are also developing a strategic increase to bus service in affected areas; light rail service will be adjusted and NJ TRANSIT will offer free cross-honoring with PATH and the ferries.

Customers will see a robust communication campaign in concert with the release of schedules and travel alternatives the first full week of June through all traditional and social media outlets available to us. NJ TRANSIT employee ambassadors will be out at key terminals including Penn Station, Hoboken, Newark and other locations beginning next month, to answer questions and hand out information to help prepare customers for the continuous Amtrak outages that will impact them this summer.

For the summer, NJ TRANSIT has insisted on having a Joint Station Operations Center at PSNY for better crowd management and customer communication. NJ TRANSIT has also insisted Amtrak have rescue engines crewed and ready to respond if there is a breakdown or disruption this summer, to keep one delayed train from creating a cascade of misery for the customers on many other trains.

NJ TRANSIT also insisted on a number of other steps to benefit New Jersey customers this summer, including:
· That the west end concourse at PSNY be opened for NJ TRANSIT customers.
· That the blanket 10 mph speed restriction now in place near PSNY be lifted prior to July 10.
· That NJ TRANSIT is allowed to perform field inspections of the renewal work.
· That Amtrak provide daily written progress reports.
· And that an NJ TRANSIT representative be involved in day-to-day dispatching decisions.

Longer term, NJ TRANSIT will demand that New Jersey have more input on Amtrak’s priorities for repair and replacement of infrastructure, to ensure that state of good repair efforts – those projects most directly tied to the safe and reliable service, are being advanced where they are needed most, so that NJ TRANSIT’s customers can have safe, reliable service, day in and day out.

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Commuter says Mr President Please do not bail out NY/NJ at Penn Station

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Dear President Trump – please do the right thing here. Ask NY/NJ to drop dead. I say this as someone who has to endure the torturous commute every single day.

These states are involved in pillaging BILLIONS of dollars collected as taxes/tolls/fares, paid by honest citizens, on their union cronies and other political constituents, instead of spending the same on desperately needed infrastructure.

Not a penny of federal aid is required to build and maintain infrastructure. There is no shortage of money. A few years of tolls collected on the three 50-100 year old Hudson crossings alone is enough to build a new tunnel. Of course, no one really knows where that money goes.

Please do not bail them out. This will only encourage them to steal more.

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NJ Transit Should Cut Fares This Summer, Senate Candidate Says

Kelly Langschultz,

By Alyana Alfaro • 05/03/17 5:12pm

Kelly Langschultz, a Republican candidate for the state Senate in Bergen County, is calling on NJ Transit to slash its fares during the coming season of repairs and service outages at New York Penn Station.

“NJ Transit needs to reduce the cost of their ticket prices and start accommodating riders for the decline in service,” she said in a statement Wednesday. “We have plenty of people here who have already spent hundreds of dollars on monthly passes, and now we’re learning that there will be even further interruptions in service.”

Amtrak is conducting urgent track repairs this summer, planned for July 7 to July 25 and Aug. 4 to Aug. 28, according to a draft plan. At least five of Penn Station’s 21 tracks would be affected by the August repairs and NJ Transit riders are expected to face long delays and service outages. Amtrak, which owns and operates Penn Station, says it has no choice but to fix the tracks after two recent derailments at the station.

http://observer.com/2017/05/kelly-langschultz-calls-for-fare-reduction-nj-transit/

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NJT Apologizes for the Mess

penn station njt

April 25, 2017

Dear Valued Customer,

First, I want to thank you for your continued patience and understanding during the recent and ongoing delays to your train service, especially traveling in and out of Penn Station New York.

These delays have caused considerable frustration, inconvenience and stress for many of you as you travel to work, appointments, events and then back home. Traveling on NJ TRANSIT should be the easy part of your day, not the most challenging.

We share your frustration and are committed to earning back your trust. I personally met with Amtrak’s CEO recently to discuss the importance of NJ TRANSIT having a voice at the table around prioritization of track and other maintenance, tunnel evacuation protocols, customer flow at Penn Station New York among other topics. These issues are important to NJ TRANSIT, have a direct impact on you our customers, and must be addressed.

If you have experienced delays that have compromised your work situation, please stop by one of our Customer Service offices and pick up a delay letter for your employer. You also can obtain a letter by visiting our website and clicking here to access our Contact Us form on the website.

I will work every day to ensure that we do everything we can to improve your trip, and sincerely apologize for the inconveniences you, your families and fellow commuters may have experienced in recent days.

Thank you for remaining a loyal NJ TRANSIT customer.

Steven H. Santoro
Executive Director, NJ TRANSIT

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NJT: Expect 15-30 Minutes Delays for the Foreseeable Future

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file photo

April 26,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, ,Due to ongoing Amtrak track maintenance work and track inspections leading to speed restrictions, effective immediately and continuing until further notice, NJT customers traveling to and from New York Penn Station will experience estimated delays of 15 minutes on weekdays and 30 minutes on weekends.