Being late for work because of train troubles isn’t new, but after a slew of recent problems, NJ Transit is offering its customers an excuse note for when the system makes them late.
Derailments, breakdowns and delays have plagued NJ Transit in the last few weeks causing major congestion at Penn Station and other commuter headaches.
NJT Executive Director Steve Santoro posted an open letter on the railroad's website:
“First, I want to thank you for your continued patience and understanding during the recent and ongoing delays to your train service, especially traveling in and out of Penn Station New York.
“These delays have caused considerable frustration, inconvenience and stress for many of you as you travel to work, appointments, events and then back home. Traveling on NJ TRANSIT should be the easy part of your day, not the most challenging.
“We share your frustration and are committed to earning back your trust. I personally met with Amtrak's CEO recently to discuss the importance of NJ TRANSIT having a voice at the table around prioritization of track and other maintenance, tunnel evacuation protocols, customer flow at Penn Station New York among other topics. These issues are important to NJ TRANSIT, have a direct impact on you our customers, and must be addressed.
“If you have experienced delays that have compromised your work situation, please stop by one of our Customer Service offices and pick up a delay letter for your employer. You also can obtain a letter by visiting our website and clicking here to access our Contact Us form on the website.
“I will work every day to ensure that we do everything we can to improve your trip, and sincerely apologize for the inconveniences you, your families and fellow commuters may have experienced in recent days.”
MTA already offers its riders tardy notes.
Amtrak, which controls New York Penn Station, announced on Thursday a major makeover beginning in May. Instead of completing the work on weekends, it plans to get the work done within 100 days.
Riders can expect service disruptions for summer traveling.
Amtrak’s chief executive, Charles W. Moorman, would not say how many tracks will be closed during the reconstruction.
“It is our goal to cause the least amount of disruption in that station that we can,” Moorman said, The New York Times reported. “There are going to be some tracks closed during some weekdays. It doesn’t mean that there are going to be lots of tracks closed every weekday for extended periods of time, and part of our goal is to make sure that we minimize that.”