Let me begin by thanking all of you for your patience over the last two months. The rail service adjustments made in July and August enabled Amtrak to complete a series of major infrastructure projects that will strengthen and improve operations at Penn Station New York (PSNY). Reducing train traffic in and out of New York during this two-month period helped accelerate the work and minimize long-term disruptions to your commute.
I realize that many of you made considerable adjustments to your travel and personal schedules to make this happen. To help minimize that, we planned and implemented an extensive alternative service program during the schedule change and launched an early communications plan to help you make informed decisions. That included discounted fares for our Morris & Essex Lines riders (M&E), substitute bus service at select stations along the M&E, and cross-honoring of tickets and passes on NJ TRANSIT and private carrier buses, on Hudson-Bergen Light Rail and Newark Light Rail trains, on PATH trains and on NY Waterway ferry services.
Throughout the summer, we monitored travel patterns and made adjustments to service as needed, primarily with additional bus service at M&E stations. We also installed new LED pilot screens at Hoboken Terminal that display every station served by trains at Hoboken in alphabetical order, along with the time of the next scheduled train to each station and the track number assigned to that train when it is available. Once we receive feedback, we will look to procure more permanent, weather-resistant screens.
I want to thank our transportation partners, including PATH and NY Waterway, for providing us with additional support that made the alternate service plan a success. I also want to thank all of our NJ TRANSIT employees who supported this plan, behind the scenes and on the front lines. That includes hundreds of employee ambassadors who were deployed at many stations and terminals to assist you throughout the two-month period. Let me also thank the stakeholders who supported NJ TRANSIT throughout this effort.
As a reminder, all fare discounts, substitute and enhanced bus services, as well as cross-honoring on bus, rail, light rail, PATH and NY Waterway ferry services in effect during the modified schedule between July 10 and September 1 will end at 3:00 a.m. Saturday, September 2. New weekday rail schedules will take effect Tuesday, September 5.
For the Labor Day weekend, NJ TRANSIT rail service will operate on a regular weekend schedule on September 2 and 3.
On Monday, September 4, trains will operate on a weekend/major holiday schedule on all lines. It is important to note weekend service has not been affected by the PSNY repair work. All weekend Midtown Direct trains will operate to/from PSNY. Hudson-Bergen Light Rail will operate on a weekend schedule. Newark Light Rail will operate on a Saturday schedule. River Line will operate on a Sunday schedule. Bus schedules vary by route-customers are advised to check their timetables or visit njtransit.com for schedule information.
In closing, while the work completed is a great accomplishment, Amtrak has advised us that additional repairs will be made through 2018. We will continue to receive updates from Amtrak on this planned work and provide you information on what, if anything, will impact your commute-even to the slightest degree.
Thank you again for your patience and ongoing support.
Steven H. Santoro