Hudson River Hubbub: NJ Transit delays and PATH suspension causes commute disruptions

It seems like New Jersey commuters cannot catch a break, after facing two straight days of signal problems, mechanical failures, and stalled trains across the region’s mass transit system.

Problems on the Hudson

The problems began Monday morning with a train stuck in the westbound tube of the Hudson River Tunnels that connect Amtrak and New Jersey Transit trains to Penn Station. Amtrak spokesman Jason C. Abrams said that the train, Amtrak train #141, had become “disabled,” leading to almost 60 minute delays on New Jersey Transit trains headed towards Manhattan.

The situation grew worse, however, when Port Authority Trans-Hudson, or PATH, experienced a broken rail, leading to suspension of service across half of its network.

PATH and NJ Transit are the two key railroads that shuttle New Jerseyans to and from New York, and now both were incapacitated. Both agencies had activated cross-honoring agreements to allow riders to utilize tickets from one agency on another, but in this case riders were left with nowhere to go.

NJ Transit was encouraging its delayed customers to transfer to PATH which were also delayed, and PATH was encouraging its customers to switch to NJ Transit.

Many riders took to Twitter to complain about the service:

During the evening commute, NJ Transit was again reporting one hour delays, this time due to signal problems close by to a bridge that crosses Hackensack River.

The recent delays emphasize the fragility of the region’s transportation system, and how seemingly minor delays like a broken rail can lead to large delays.

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