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NJ Transit to cut rail fares 10 percent amid service disruptions

NEWARK, N.J. — Relief is in sight for New Jersey Transit's beleaguered rail riders, if only in the wallet.

Facing criticism over service disruptions as it seeks to meet a Dec. 31 federal safety deadline, NJ Transit said Thursday it will cut fares 10 percent for daily and monthly tickets for three months starting in November.

The move is seen as an attempt to ease the pain of even more schedule adjustments scheduled to take effect in mid-October that will cancel some trains and alter the origin and destination points of others. Regular service is expected to resume by mid-January.

"Further adjustments are necessary as we continue to accelerate the installation schedule," NJ Transit Executive Director Kevin Corbett said in an emailed statement. "Failure to meet the federal requirements by December 31st is not an option."

NJ Transit has lagged behind most other U.S. railroads in installing positive train control, an emergency braking system mandated by federal rail regulators after a 2008 commuter rail crash in California that killed 25 people.

Railroads initially were required to have the system in operation by the end of 2015, but that deadline was pushed back to Dec. 31, 2018. NJ Transit has been approved for an additional two-year extension but must have the system fully installed and all relevant employees trained by Dec. 31.

To accelerate the pace of installation on its locomotives, rail cars and tracks, NJ Transit has already reduced some rail service, including the suspension of its line connecting Philadelphia to Atlantic City.

Taking train equipment out of service for installation, combined with higher-than-normal unscheduled engineer absences, contributed to last-minute train cancellations during the summer that had New York-bound riders fuming.

Other recent problems have included an overhead wire malfunction in the Hudson River tunnel on Sept. 7 that stranded more than 1,000 people on two trains. The tunnel infrastructure is owned by Amtrak.

The crew of an inbound train reported a piece of equipment that connects the train to the overhead wires pierced the roof of one of the train cars, but no injuries were reported.

List of cancellations and schedule changes:

Northeast Corridor (NEC)

  • INBOUND to Newark/New York (temporarily discontinued)
    • Train 3832, the 10:42 a.m. arrival at PSNY from Trenton
    • Alternate trains for Rahway-PSNY: Train 3722 departs Jersey Ave. at 9:25 a.m. and makes additional stops at Rahway, Linden and Elizabeth.  North Jersey Coast Line Train 3232 departs Long Branch at 9:13 a.m. and makes an additional stop at North Elizabeth at 10:24 a.m.
    • Alternate trains for local travel: Train 3934 departs Trenton at 8:56 a.m. with transfer to Train 3722 at New Brunswick.  Train 3834 departs Trenton at 9:52 a.m.
  • OUTBOUND from Newark/New York (temporarily discontinued)
    • Train 3703, the 6:04 a.m. departure from PSNY to New Brunswick
    • Alternate train is Train 3815 which departs PSNY at 6:11 a.m. to Trenton (does not stop at Jersey Avenue)
    • For Jersey Avenue service, Train 3701 at 5:41 a.m. from PSNY or Train 3705 at 6:31 a.m.
    • Train 3857, the 3:42 p.m. departure from PSNYto Trenton
      • Alternate trains for Newark Airport-Rahway: Train 3509 departs PSNY at 3:20 p.m.  Train 3595 will depart PSNY at 3:57 p.m.
      • Alternate trains for Metropark-Trenton: Train 3855 departs PSNY at 3:30 p.m.  Later option for Metropark-Jersey Ave is Train 3721 which departs PSNY at 4:07 p.m.  Later option for Princeton Junction, Hamilton and Trenton is Train 3943 which departs PSNY at 4:13 p.m.
  • Princeton Dinky
    • All Princeton Dinky rail service will be replaced by buses on weekdays and weekends.

North Jersey Coast Line (NJCL)

  • INBOUND to Newark/New York (temporarily discontinued)
    • Train 3500, the 7:00 a.m. arrival at PSNY from South Amboy
    • Alternate for local trips: Train 3208 departs Long Branch at 4:52 a.m. and makes all local stops to Rahway.  Transfer to NEC 3702 for local travel.
    • Alternate Rahway-PSNY: Train 3812 departs Trenton at 5:21 a.m. and makes local stops.
    • Alternate South Amboy to PSNY: Train 3310 departsBay Headat 4:54 a.m. and makes all stops to Avenel, then expresses to Newark Penn Station and continues to PSNY.
  • OUTBOUND from Newark/New York (temporarily discontinued)
    • Train 3507, the 7:46 a.m. departure from PSNY to South Amboy
      • Alternate service is Train 3223 which departs PSNY at 7:44 a.m. to Long Branch.

Morris & Essex Lines (M&E)

  • INBOUND to Hoboken (temporarily discontinued)
    • Train 330, the 6:01 p.m. arrival at Hoboken from Summit
    • Train 432, the 6:19 p.m. arrival in Hoboken from Gladstone, operates 19 minutes earlier on the Gladstone Branch then replaces Train 330’s schedule east of Summit.
    • Train 332, the 6:57 p.m. arrival at Hoboken from Summit
      • Earlier option Train 6664 departs Summit at 5:52 p.m. with transfer at Newark Broad St. toTrain 880 for service to Hoboken.
    • Later option Train 334 departs Summit at 6:46 p.m. to Hoboken.
    • Train 436, the 10:38 p.m. arrival at Hoboken from Gladstone
    • Earlier option Train 434 departs Peapack at 8:06 p.m.
    • Later option Train 438 departs Gladstone at 9:24 p.m.
    • Train 684, the 12:28 a.m. arrival at Hoboken from Dover
      • West of Summit alternate: Train 682 departs Dover at 10:29 p.m.
      • East of Summit alternate: Train 440 departs Summit at 11:32 p.m. or Train 442 departs Summit at 12:36 a.m.

Gladstone Branch

  • All weekend Gladstone Branch rail service will be replaced by buses.
    • Gladstone Branch trains will operate on Thanksgiving, Martin Luther King Jr. and President’s Day.  Buses will operate on Christmas and New Year’s Day.
    • Trains will operate on a special schedule on Saturday, October 20th for the Far Hills Race Meeting (Steeplechase)
  • OUTBOUND from Hoboken (temporarily discontinued)
    • Train 303, the 5:59 a.m. departure from Hoboken to Summit
    • Earlier option Train 871 departs Hoboken at 5:38 a.m. to Hackettstown.
    • Later option Train 607 departs Hoboken at 6:18 a.m. to Dover.
    • Train 643, the 4:42 p.m. departure from Hoboken to Dover
      • Earlier option Train 1079 will depart Hoboken at 4:33 p.m. to Hackettstown with transfer at Newark Broad Street for service to stations between East Orange through Morris Plains.
      • Later option for stations west of Summit Train 645 departs Hoboken at 5:02 p.m. to Dover.
      • Later option for Millburn, Short Hills, and Summit: Train 429 departs Hoboken at 5:06 p.m.
    • Train 467, the 6:07 p.m. departure from Hoboken to Murray Hill
      • Alternate for Millburn, Short Hills and Murray Hill only: Train 435 departs Hoboken at 6:01 p.m.
      • Earlier option for all other stations Train 337 departs Hoboken at 5:39 pm. to Summit.
      • Later option for all other stations Train 657 departs Hoboken at 6:36 p.m. to Dover.
    • Train 441, the 7:09 p.m. departure from Hoboken to Gladstone
      • Earlier option Train 439 departs Hoboken at 6:50 p.m. to Gladstone
      • Later option Train 443 departs Hoboken at 7:44 p.m. to Gladstone with express service between Newark Broad St. and Summit.
  • Other M&E Adjustments
    • Train 301, which departs Hoboken at 4:55 a.m. and arrives in Summit at 5:46 a.m., will operate 10 minutes earlier.
    • Train 300, which departs Summit at 5:23 a.m. and arrives at Hoboken at 6:11 a.m., will operate 18 minutes earlier.
    • Train 432, the 6:19 p.m. arrival in Hoboken from Gladstone operates 19 minutes earlier and replaces Train 330.
    • Train 813, the 6:34 p.m. departure from Hoboken to Lake Hopatcong, will terminate at Dover and be renumbered as Train 657 departing Hoboken at 6:36 p.m.  As alternates, customers may take Train 1011, the 6:29 p.m. departure from Hoboken to Lake Hopatcong or Train 1085, the 7:22 p.m. departure from Hoboken to Hackettstown.
    • Train 341, the 7:03 p.m. departure from Hoboken to Summit, will operate 31 minutes later and depart Hoboken at 7:34 p.m.

Montclair-Boonton Line

  • OUTBOUND from Hoboken (temporarily discontinued)
    • Train 209, the 6:11 a.m. departure from Hoboken to MSU
      • No earlier option.
      • Later option Train 211 departs Hoboken at 6:42 a.m.

Main Line/Bergen County Line

  • INBOUND to Hoboken (temporarily discontinued)
    • Train 1146, the 6:37 a.m. arrival at Hoboken from Suffern
      • Alternate trains for Suffern-Ridgewood: Train 1102 departs Suffern at 5:21 a.m. via the Main Line; Train 1104 departs Suffern at 6:07 a.m.
      • Alternate train for Glen Rock-Rutherford: Train 1148 departs Suffern via Bergen County Line at 5:46 a.m.
    • Train 1218, the 3:05 p.m. arrival in Hoboken from Waldwick
    • Train 1118 departs Suffern 48 minutes earlier at 2:00 p.m. to replace Train 1218, making all Main Line stops to Hoboken.
    • Train 1172 departs Suffern at 2:12 p.m.,making all Bergen County Line stops to Hoboken.
  • OUTBOUND from Hoboken (temporarily discontinued)
    • Train 1105, the 7:00 a.m. departure from Hoboken to Suffern
      • Earlier option Train 1103 departs Hoboken at 5:48 a.m.
      • Later option Train 1107 departs Hoboken at 7:33 a.m.
    • Train 1155, the 12:39 p.m. departure from Hoboken to Suffern
      • Alternate train Ridgewood-Suffern: Train 1111 departs Hoboken at 12:39 p.m. via the Main Line to Suffern.
      • Alternate train for Rutherford, Broadway, Radburn and Glen Rock: Train 47 departs Hoboken at 12:42 p.m.

Other Main Line/Bergen County Line Adjustments

  • Train 1245, which departs Hoboken at 6:52 a.m. and arrives at Waldwick at 7:38 a.m., will operate 32 minutes later and be renumbered asTrain 1247.
  • Train 1118, which departs Suffern at 2:48 p.m. and arrives at Hoboken at 3:59p.m., will operate 48 minutes earlier and replace Train 1218.
  • Train 1158, which departs Suffern at 8:04 a.m. and arrives at Hoboken at 9:12 a.m., will originate at Waldwick at 8:18 a.m.  As alternates, customers from Suffern through Allendale can use Train 1156, the 7:43 a.m. departure fromSuffern, Train 1160, the 8:35 a.m. from Suffern or Train 54, which departs Ramsey Rt. 17 Station at 8:23 a.m.
  • Train 1131, the 10:55 p.m. departure from Hoboken to Suffern, will terminate at Ridgewood.  As alternates, customers may take Train 1183, the 11:17 p.m. departure from Hoboken, for service to Ridgewood and points west.  For local travel, customers may take Train 1131 from Hoboken at 10:55 p.m. to Ridgewood and transfer to Train 1183.