Following a meeting between New Jersey Transit executives and elected officials from nearly ten communities along the Morris and Essex Rail Line, NJT has provided full details explaining the disrupted service expected by Morris & Essex line commuters this summer due to Amtrak track work.
Although town leaders were successful in getting several early morning trains restored to Penn Station, other requests were not granted — at least not yet, with less than one month to go before the new schedule begins on July 10.
“The elected officials made the case about the inequity of diverting only one train line – the M&E – to Hoboken,” wrote Maplewood Mayor Vic DeLuca on Facebook. “We asked for some burden sharing. Transit personnel said they heard our request for equity but I am not optimistic the decision will be changed.”
On a newly created website dedicated to the summer service disruption, NJ Transit Executive Director Steven Santoro wrote with some understatement, “This will not be an ordinary summer of travel for any of our customers across the system on rail, bus or light rail. Many along the Morris & Essex Lines will see new travel patterns which will extend their day…The decision to divert nearly all M&E Midtown Direct trains to Hoboken is the safest alternative [that] reduces the chance of extreme overcrowding and provides and maintains the travel pattern for 75 percent of our customers.”
NJT will offer fare discounts and cross honor with PATH, buses and NY Waterway ferries in Hoboken to access New York City. Ferry service between Hoboken Terminal and W. 39th St. will operate every 15 minutes during peak hours.
“I can assure you that the Maplewood Township Committee and South Orange Village President and Board of Trustees will continue to join with other elected officials in continuing to advocate for additional service and travel options for commuters in our two communities,” DeLuca wrote.
South Orange will have express bus service in the morning and in the evening the bus will run express to the Irvington Bus Terminal and then local from Irvington to the South Orange train station. DeLuca had requested express bus service from Maplewood to the Port Authority bus terminal or to Newark Penn where commuters can connect with direct trains to New York, but that has not yet been granted.
“I haven’t given up yet on getting NJ Transit buses from Maplewood” to Port Authority, said DeLuca in an email to Village Green Sunday night.
Meanwhile, at last week’s Township Committee meeting, DeLuca proposed passing a motion that would allow commuters to park earlier than 6 a.m. on streets with commuter parking permits. This would be in effect for as long as the NJ Transit altered schedule is in place, and would benefit commuters who take early trains (specifically the 5:00, 5:50, and 6:18 trains).
See the full summer service plan below:
NJ TRANSIT Service Plan July 10th– September 1st
The following service plan will be in place weekdays from July 10th through September 1st. All Morris & Essex Lines (M&E) customers should check the new schedules for train times and station stops as changes have been made.
- Midtown Direct trains on the Morristown Line scheduled to arrive in PSNY after 7:00 a.m. will be diverted to Hoboken for the rest of the service day. Important Note: Customers traveling into New York on four early morning Midtown Direct trains will not have return service in the p.m.; they should travel to Hoboken to access westbound M&E trains.
- The four Morris & Essex Lines Midtown Direct trains are:
- 6602, the 5:44 a.m. arrival at Penn Station New York
- 6604, the 6:29 a.m. arrival at Penn Station New York
- 6696, the 6:54 a.m. arrival at Penn Station New York (Please check schedule for station stops.)
- 6306, the 6:58 a.m. arrival at Penn Station New York. (Please check schedules for station stops.)
- Midtown Direct trains on the Gladstone Branch will be diverted to/from Hoboken.
- Midtown Direct trains on the Montclair-Boonton Line will operate on regular weekday schedules with minor time changes to/from PSNY. Montclair-Boonton Line Midtown Direct trains will not stop at Broad Street Station during peak hours. Note: All Montclair-Boonton Line customers should check the schedules as station stops may have changed.
- All Northeast Corridor and North Jersey Coast Line trains to PSNY will operate on regular weekday schedules with minor time changes to/from PSNY.
- Hoboken-bound North Jersey Coast Line trains will terminate at Newark Penn Station. Note: Customers can utilize rail service to Secaucus and transfer to Hoboken-bound trains. Hoboken tickets will be honored at Secaucus. See gate agent upon arrival.
- Raritan Valley Line trains will operate on regular weekday schedules with minor adjustments.
- Main/Bergen, Pascack Valley and Port Jervis Lines will operate on regular weekday schedules, however, connecting PATH trains at Hoboken Terminal may be different.
- Atlantic City Line will operate on regular weekday schedules.