Does it seem like almost every other day that there is a delay on trains to New York? Based on data from NJ Transit’s e-mail alerts, there have been delays, more often than every third day, reported to this rider, whose home station is Mount Tabor, on the M&E Line west of Morristown! In the 92 days from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, I received 49 delay alerts on 33 different days. The vast majority, 41 alerts on 27 days, affected Midtown Direct service. I believe that this is due to the sheer number of trains going through the two Midtown tunnels. At least 3 times, the Midtown tunnels were so jammed that all Midtown trains on the M&E were redirected to Hoboken.
This begs the obvious question: Why has NJ Transit been axing Hoboken service since 2006, when they reduced, and later eliminated, the Morris & Essex Line weekend Hoboken trains, and also cut 28 trains to and from Hoboken every weekday? Restoring Hoboken trains all the time would provide options not just for New York, but also for New Jersey via the Hudson Bergen Light Rail. Restoring Hoboken Express Service would allow travel to the 33rd Street PATH station, just 2 blocks from New York Penn Station. This would be as fast as Midtown Direct, or faster when the Midtown Direct suffers one of its many delays. Hoboken also provides ferry options. Hoboken service would also reduce the load on overcrowded Midtown Direct trains.
We already have the tracks and some trains to Hoboken. Let’s use them and get our money’s worth from these investments!
Tim Sevener is a Lackawanna Coalition member and environmental activist. He commutes from Mount Tabor and receives e-mail alerts from NJT about the Morris & Essex Line.