NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – It has become a morning ritual for NJ TRANSIT riders: get on the train and hope it arrives on time.
Now there’s a new call to keep the morning rush from slowing down.
On the Northeast Corridor line, which accounts for 80 percent of the agency’s ridership, trains are often delayed or stuck in the tunnel into New York City.
Just last week, 500 passengers were stranded on the line after the train got trapped in the tunnel.
Even New Jersey’s transportation commissioner is seeing the problems first-hand.
James Simpson said he rode the Northeast Corridor to a board meeting this week and had to leave 40 minutes early to make it on time.
“The process is what everyone has to do every day,” Simpson said. “If they’re late one more time, they may lose their job. We can’t have that. We have to get reliability back up.”
Simpson has ordered the agency to find out how to bring the line up to speed.
New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg is also speaking out, saying a new tunnel under the Hudson is imperative.
“Car and tunnel is at capacity at rush and ridership is expected to double in the next 2 decades,” Lautenberg said. “We are suffering from not having done the things we should have done many years ago.”
Amtrak unveiled the Gateway Tunnel project, which would allow more trains in and out of the city, last year.
The entire project is expected to cost #13.5 billion and be completed by 2020.