Several months ago, NJ Transit officials were embarrassed when confronted with evidence that the restrooms on the NJT 7th Avenue concourse in New York’s Penn Station were in lamentable condition; the situation was brought to light by Albert Papp, Jr., former Lackawanna Coalition chair and president of the New Jersey Association of Railroad Passengers. Now the facilities will be refurbished, which will require them to close from January 2 through 16, according to reporting by Mike Frassinelli in the Star-Ledger (November 16). Papp’s investigation had highlighted faucets that didn’t work, duct tape holding up toilet paper dispensers, and missing soap dispensers, among other shortcomings. Temporary repairs swiftly followed Papp’s disclosures.
Repairs are also under way at restrooms in Newark’s Penn Station; in this case, however, complete closure will not be required. In New York, while the restrooms are closed, the nearest open facilities are on the Long Island Rail Road (lower) level, accessible by escalator; there are also Amtrak restrooms in the northwest section of the upper level, near 8th Avenue.