A 109-year-old swing bridge will no longer be the bain of commuters’ existence. The United States Coast Guard agreed last week to permanently restrict when boats can pass under the Portal Bridge, which carries about 200,000 passengers daily to and from Penn Station via New Jersey Transit and Amtrak. The 1910 bridge’s aging mechanics frequently malfunction while opening and closing for maritime traffic, causing hourslong delays, felt especially during rush hour.
Partial shutdown of Hudson River tunnel would cause NY and NJ home values to drop by $22B, report says, Wed, February 27, 2019
If the only rail link between New Jersey and Manhattan shuttered, homes in the region would see a drop in home value by $22 billion, according to a report released on Tuesday. An analysis from the Regional Plan Association highlights the economic effects of a partial shutdown of the Hudson River tunnel, which was severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy and carries 200,000 daily passengers via Amtrak and NJ Transit. To make repairs to the 110-year-old tunnels, officials have called for a $13 billion project that would construct a second tunnel to keep service operating while the existing tunnel is restored. But President Donald Trump’s administration said it will not support the Gateway tunnel project, making a partial shutdown of the tunnel more likely, according to the RPA (h/t Crain’s).
New Jersey Transit announced Thursday it will offer discount fares for three months as it reduces train service to and from New York Penn Station. In addition to its already diminished service, the agency plans to cancel 18 daily trains on five lines and suspend all train service on a short rail segment in Princeton. There will also be no weekend service on the Gladstone Branch of the Morris & Essex line. All fares will be cut by 10 percent from November through January, Bloomberg reported.
A map showing T-REX’s new crosstown connections, via RPA
When NYC’s three commuter railroads–the Long Island Railroad, New Jersey Transit, and Metro-North–were built more than a century ago when the metropolitan area was less than half its current size. Today, the systems are crumbling, both in their physical infrastructure and politics. The latest suggestion for how to fix the issues comes from a new Regional Plan Association report that wants to take advantage of the fact that these railroads “share an amalgamation of rail lines” and thereby create one integrated regional rail network. Dubbed T-REX, short for Trans-Regional Express, the 30-year, $71.4 billion proposal would add 60 new train stations and more than 200 miles of new tracks.
Photo via Kev Harb via Flickr
The emergency Penn Station repairs that began in July will be completed on time with regular operating service resuming on Sept. 5, Amtrak announced Thursday. After delays and a few train derailments, Amtrak closed 21 tracks at Penn earlier this summer. Nearly seven weeks of the eight scheduled weeks of repair work for this “summer of hell” have been completed thus far.
Eight weeks of infrastructure repairs at Penn Station officially began Monday, affecting commuters using the Long Island Rail Road, Amtrak and New Jersey Transit. Amtrak will close some of the station’s 21 tracks for renovations, which will force the MTA to cancel or divert 15-weekday trains between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. Overall, there will be a 20 percent reduction in the number of trains to Manhattan from NJ and Long Island. To minimize the impact on riders, the MTA has offered discounted fares and transit alternatives like ferry and bus service (h/t NY Times).
Following the recent Penn Station train derailment and subsequent delays during the busy weekday commute, NY Waterway launched an extra ferry route running from Hoboken to Midtown Manhattan. Now, NJ.com reports, that ferry service will become permanent starting in September of this year. The new ferry will run between between West 39th Street and Hoboken terminal according to NY Waterway president and founder Arthur Imperatore Sr.