NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New Jersey Transit customers face major changes today as two construction projects get underway at Penn Station.
Both project are expected to impact many taking trains in and out of Manhattan.
Two tracks are being taken out of service to allow for repair work that will last all summer.
The new workweek brought new construction to Penn Station so the Monday morning rush was a bit more of a rush today for some.
“Took a lot of time, going to be late to a meeting,” said commuter Walter Cevallos.
“Piece of cake, seriously,” said another.
Mixed reviews from NJ TRANSIT riders tackling the first day of changes to their commute due to track repairs. Normally, they’d stay on the train right into Manhattan. As of this morning, they had to divert to Hoboken.
“There were a couple extra PATH trains that were there today, so it wasn’t too bad. It’s going to get worse Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday when you have more people come into work,” said commuter Steve Gelsi of Montclair.
Gelsi takes the the Montclair-Boonton line, which is one of two NJ TRANSIT lines with service impacted. The other is the North Jersey Coast line. As of Monday, two tracks are out of service through the summer, also affected Amtrak and the Long Island Rail Road, to allow for what transit officials call vital repair work.
“This was a scheduled outage that Amtrak needs to do for safety. We strongly support that,” said Kevin Corbett, president of NJ TRANSIT. “We want to make sure all of our riders have a safe system where there is no derailments, or fear of that.”
That’s not all. Construction is also set to begin Monday to build a new LIRR entrance at 33rd Street and Seventh Avenue.
The $600 million renovation announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo last month will add exits, widen the corridor, raise the ceiling, improve the lighting and signage.
“Improvement is welcome,” said commuter Giovanni Gentile. “I don’t think the entrance is the problem.”
“It looks great, but that’s just going to cause delays. Construction is a pain, you know,” said commuter Teddy Eliades.
“I like the effort, I just want to see efficiency,” said commuter Mike Barton.
Pack your patience. Repairs affecting NJ TRANSIT are expected to last through the summer, and construction on the LIRR concourse will be around through 2020.
“It will impact my commute. I’m sure it will make it more difficult,” commuter Michael Adges told CBS2. “I’m not looking forward to it.”
To ease the pain of the project, the Port Authority’s chief communications officer said NJ Transit is “reducing the fare that they normally impose.”
Officials recommend buying tickets online to avoid lines and checking train schedules often.