Police patrols of trains, a temporary ban on the use of overhead luggage racks, and sealed onboard trash receptacles are among the additional security measures customers will see on New York-bound trains during the Republican National Convention. As a convenience for customers, the Corporation also announced today that August monthly passes will be valid through September 7.
Assisted by nearly 100 NJ State Troopers, NJ TRANSIT Police will inspect all NY-bound train equipment in rail yards and will perform onboard inspections of trains enroute before they proceed into the tunnel entrance to Amtrak’s Penn Station. These measures are being implemented following months of planning with the US Secret Service and NYC Police Department who are working with railroad police establishing security plans for the Convention, scheduled for the week of August 29th at Madison Square Garden.
“These are prudent steps that will reduce the security risks associated with serving customers on an open transit system,” said NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman and State Transportation Commissioner Jack Lettiere.
Transit officials also said they will be rerouting 100 daily MidTOWN DIRECT trains to Hoboken, where customers can take PATH trains or NY Waterway ferries to Midtown Manhattan at no additional cost. About 13,000 customers make more than 25,000 trips into and out of New York daily on MidTOWN DIRECT trains.
“We appreciate the cooperation we have gotten from Amtrak and law enforcement to secure the station and keep it open for customers,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George D. Warrington. “ I would also like to personally thank NJ State Police Superintendent Colonel Rick Fuentes, Major Bill Malast and NYPD Deputy Chief Louis Croce, for their extraordinary help.”
Warrington added: “My advice to our customers who choose to travel to New York that week is travel light, keep your personal belongings with you at all times, and expect some unavoidable delays.”
Customers will be advised through onboard notices tomorrow of the following:
· Bags will be banned from the overhead luggage racks on New York-bound trains during Convention week. Customers should keep their personal belongings with them at all times.
· Access to New York Penn Station will be limited to only two entrances on the 7th Avenue side, at 32nd and 34th streets.
· All 100 MidTOWN DIRECT trains will be rerouted to and from Hoboken beginning Monday, August 30th through Friday, September 3rd to reduce congestion at Penn Station New York and to allow NJ TRANSIT and NJ State Troopers to inspect nearly 200 daily, New York-bound trains on the Northeast Corridor and the North Jersey Coast Line.
· A limited number of restrooms – one or two – will be available on New York-bound trains. Many restrooms will be locked.
· Onboard trash receptacles will be sealed.
· NJ TRANSIT bus and light rail services will operate on a regular schedule.
· North Jersey Coast Line, Northeast Corridor Line and Raritan Valley Line train schedules will not change.
Penn Station is the country’s busiest train station with more than 1,200 trains, carrying 300,000 NJ TRANSIT, Long Island Rail Road, Amtrak and NYC subway passengers to midtown. Every day, NJ TRANSIT operates about 300 trains through the station complex, serving more than 50,000 passengers who make 100,000 trips into and out of New York daily.
Customers are encouraged to listen to news reports before traveling and to visit the Corporation’s website, www.njtransit.com for up-to-the-minute information.
NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 725,550 daily trips on 237 bus routes, three light rail lines and 11 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 161 rail stations, 49 light rail stations and more than 17,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.