Saturday, July 8, 2017

Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher: Your summer commute starting July 10th...

Official release:

Dear Hoboken friends and neighbors:

By now everyone should be aware that this Monday we will be seeing a significant increase in NJ Transit commuters going through the Hoboken Terminal due to the Amtrak repairs taking place for the rest of the summer. 

Here is an article that gives some color on what to expect.

Different than when the tracks were closed in April, NJ Transit, PATH and NY Waterways will be adding capacity to help absorb the additional commuters.  I spoke with our Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro, who is on the Transportation committee of our State Assembly, and she indicated that all agencies will have staff on site Monday to monitor the situation to ensure the least amount of disruption.   That being said, my guess is, at least in the first few days, that all commuters in Hoboken will be affected, not just those who commute through our Hoboken Terminal.  People wanting to avoid the terminal may now decide to take a bus, or take a ferry from the north end.  So if at all possible as you plan for your commute this week, until things settle, please consider:

- leaving earlier or later than traditional commuting hours - before 7:00 and after 8:30
- taking the light rail from the back of Hoboken to Weekawken and take the ferry to midtown from there
- staying or working from home or take vacation during this time.  Avoid commuting altogether.
- taking an alternative route to avoid leaving out of downtown - here I have mixed feelings because uptown bus riders already have long lines and often wait for multiple full buses to go by before there is room.
- believe it or not, carpooling into the city - three or more people would let you reduce costs and allow you a comfortable commute during the hot mornings (assuming there is A/C!)

If none of these options are possible, then please make sure you stay hydrated, dress comfortably, and do whatever you can to ease anxiety that this potential overcrowding and delays may cause.

You may have heard, but NJ Transit riders who normally go directly into Penn Station, but now will need to take an additional line into the City will not have to pay for this step.  NJ Transit is compensating NY Waterway and PATH for them to cross honor NJ train tickets.  Right now it does not feel fair as we all feel the "deja vu" effect of April's commuting nightmares.  I am hopeful that with the focus of both agencies, the attention being given to this by our state representatives, and then in particular the additional capacity being provided during commuting hours, that the impact will to Hoboken residents will not be significant. 

Please do send emails, FB messages, twitter notes or texts - or just call - and share any experiences - good or bad - that you have or any recommendations.  Assemblywoman Chaparro has indicated that all those involved are focused on making the pain of this project be as little as possible for everyone.

Tiffanie Fisher
Hoboken 2nd Ward City Councilwoman

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