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NJ Transit’s latest issue? No crew

Several trains were canceled on Monday due to a lack of workers to operate them.
NJ Transit is facing a worker shortage amid Amtrak's Penn Station repair work.
NJ Transit had to cancel several trains this week due to 'manpower shortages,' including the Princeton Junction 'Dinky' seen above. (Wikimedia)

Commuters aren’t the only ones battling the subsequent service changes due to Amtrak’s two-month repair work at Penn Station. New Jersey Transit canceled several trains Monday night due to a “manpower shortage.”

Four trains on the Northeast Corridor and North Jersey Coast Line were affected, and riders were alerted via Twitter. 

Princeton Junction “Dinky” trains were also suspended due to a lack of available crew, NJ.com reported. The Dinky trains, which are called such due to the short length of the rail line, were replaced by buses.

While NJ Transit did not comment on the exact cause of the crew shortage, an official whose name was withheld because they are not authorized to speak with the media, told NJ.com that engineers are unhappy with the schedule change caused by the “summer of hell” repair work at Penn Station, which is now in its second week.

The official added that the locomotive engineers must bid to work on specific trains based on seniority.

The unnamed NJ Transit official did relay that under a contract that was created last year to avoid a rail union strike, employees are able to not come to work if there is a crew change or scheduling issue.

“The employees are exercising their right under the agreement not to show up. They’re just not showing up,” the official said.

And that “not showing up” stretched into Tuesday morning’s commute as well as Princeton’s Dinky shuttle service “remains suspended as a result of no engineer,” NJ Transit tweeted around 5:30 a.m.

Additionally, any commuters hoping to avoid Penn Station altogether and take a NJ Transit bus to Port Authority is facing delays of up to 30 minutes due to a disabled bus in the bus lane into the Lincoln Tunnel.
 

 
 
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