Only 46% of NJ Transit Rush Hour Trains to NYC Are on TimeBy
New Jersey Transit blamed Amtrak failures for commuter delays
Riders brace for ‘summer of hell’ as Amtrak plans maintenance
Just 46 percent of New Jersey Transit’s morning rush-hour trains to New York’s Pennsylvania Station arrived on time in May as Amtrak accelerated maintenance at North America’s busiest rail terminal.
Systemwide, the number of trains reported within six minutes of schedule dropped to a low of 87 percent last month, compared with 96 percent in May 2016, according to a report this week to New Jersey Transit’s board from Steven Santoro, the executive director. New Jersey Transit, which has been struggling with its own safety and operating issues, largely blamed the delays on Amtrak track failures.
After two derailments in March and April, Amtrak announced a stepped-up maintenance schedule that is resulting in regular New Jersey Transit delays of 15 minutes or more on weekdays. Starting in July, service may get even worse as Amtrak, which shares its tracks with New Jersey Transit, performs eight weeks of work at Penn Station during what New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has called the “summer of hell” for commuters.
“This will not be an ordinary summer of travel for any of our customers,” Santoro said in the report. A telephone message left with New Jersey Transit’s press line requesting comment on the report wasn’t immediately returned.
In May, 2,429 of the 18,525 trains scheduled to operate were delayed. On May 16 alone, there were 172 delays, which New Jersey Transit blamed on Amtrak track and switch issues and a failure of one of its own diesel trains.
New Jersey Transit’s Northeast Corridor line, its busiest, had the worst performance in May, with 79 percent of trains on time.