UPDATE: Midtown Direct Resumes Regular Service Monday
Beginning Monday, Midtown Direct service is back to a regular schedule. NJT will operate nearly 90 percent of normal peak service.
Update, 11/16 6:12 p.m.: According to the NJ Transit website, effective Monday, Nov. 19, Midtown Direct service between Dover and New York will operate on a regular schedule. (The Gladstone Branch service remains suspended until further notice.) Updated schedules will be posted by 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 18.
The release continued:
"...all but one NJ TRANSIT rail lines will be running full or modified service effective Monday, November 19. This includes the restoration of service along the North Jersey Coast Line, which suffered the brunt of the damage wrought by Hurricane Sandy."
Additionally, with the completion of repairs to a key Amtrak-owned electrical substation in Kearny that will generate additional power to the Northeast Corridor, NJ TRANSIT will be operating approximately 90 percent of its normal peak period service into New York Penn Station starting Monday morning.
Update, 11/16: While the Gladstone Branch remains suspended until further notice, and direct Morristown Line service to and from Hoboken also remains suspended, there are some signs that NJ Transit might be returning to normal in the near future.
"Amtrak has made progress with repairing the Kearny substation," said NJT spokesperson Nancy Snyder on Friday morning. Once those repairs are complete, NJ Transit will be able to offer "service more resembling pre-storm," she said.
"We will immediately notify our customers through transit alerts and (by) posting on our website," said Snyder, who said she hoped there would be a service update as early as Friday afternoon.
The emergency shuttle buses that had been running from Maplewood-Liberty State Park (LSP) will cease operation beginning 8 p.m. Friday night, because of low rider usage and the increase in train service, according to Snyder.
In addition, Snyder said that NJ Transit is still cross-honoring all train and bus tickets system-wide.
Update, 11/15: NJ Transit posted on its website that normal weekend Midtown direct service will operate this weekend, including connecting Montclair-Boonton Line service to/from Hoboken. Also, trains 906 and 911, which operate between Dover and Hoboken, will be CANCELLED. View weekend schedule HERE.
Also, Maplewood Township announced a new, temporary jitney schedule effective Nov. 15. See the schedule here.
Update, 11/14: NJ Transit brings back limited Midtown Direct transfers to Hoboken on Wednesday, just over two weeks since Superstorm Sandy shut down that station. There is roughly one train per hour during the morning and evening rush hours; Maplewood and South Orange commuters can transfer at Newark Broad Street. The modified schedule can be found here.
Update, 8:20 p.m. @NJ_Transit, the rail operator's official account, tweeted, "Bus service to/from Port Authority Bus Terminal is resuming normal operation."
Monday morning's commute, featuring restored, limited Midtown Direct service, was fraught with long delays. According to @NJ_Transit: "Due to slippery rail conditions, M&E MidTown Directs are subject to 60-90 minute delays."
The evening commute seemed smoother, according to accounts posted on Maplewood Patch's Facebook page. "My husband took the 7:07 and arrived in South Orange at 7:50. Totally smooth. Hoping tomorrow am is the same way. Pretty incredible," posted one reader. Another wrote, "Yay for some degree of normalcy."
There was a 25-minute delay on the 6:23 p.m. from NY Penn Station due to a switch problem, according to an NJ Transit alert.
Also, one South Orange commuter on the 7:42 p.m. from NY Penn reported that the train was running normally until it approached South Orange. "Train was skidding on track and was unable to stop at South Orange. Crazy," texted the commuter. The train had to stop in Maplewood.
For many local residents, Monday marks the second full week of the post-Sandy commute. The hurricane damaged NJ Transit tracks and trains such that the Morris-Essex line is running a limited schedule. There's hope that trains will begin running normally at the end of this week, but locals struggle in and out of the city by bus, ferry, car, and even part of the way on foot.
The NJ Transit bus 107 saw long lines of passengers waiting early in the week, at the South Orange train station. By Friday, NJ Transit established free shuttle bus service between Maplewood Station and LSP, and free ferry service between LSP and Battery Park (Lower Manhattan).
One South Orange resident and midtown-bound commuter reported on his journey. "The bus was roomy and comfortable, much nicer than the ones on New Jersey Transit's 107 route," said Alan Goldstein. "We got stuck in traffic on I-78 by Newark Airport. But if the bus ride was too long, the trip on the ferry was too short. The skyline was so beautiful in the morning, a welcome change from the dark and overcrowded Port Authority Bus Terminal." Goldstein, whose commute took two hours, door to door, added, "It was a nice way to start the day."
Others reported long journeys, sometimes as long as three or four hours in one direction. Frustrated by the wait for a bus, one local resident has begun walking home to South Orange from downtown Newark via South Orange Avenue.
Assembly members John McKeon and Mila Jasey have appealed to NJ Transit to help provide more options for commuters from South Orange, Maplewood and West Orange.
In the meantime, help your neighbors find the best routes to work with suspended trains lines and delayed buses by adding your route in the comments. Add an estimated time so residents can plan.
PATH trains are operating limited service from Journal Square in Jersey City to 33rd Street in Manhattan from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.
PATH train service at Newark Penn and Harrison stations to Manhattan will resume Monday morning. Service will begin at 5 a.m. and trains will run in both directions until 10 p.m. between Newark Penn and 33rd Street in New York City.
The temporary line will include stops at Journal Square, Grove Street and Newport Stations in Jersey City and 14th, 23rd, and 33rd street stations in New York City, the release said. Trains will skip Christopher and 9th Streets in New York.
With the train lines out of service, NJ Transit provided a list of bus lines that parallel train lines to accommodate those who need to travel to New York City, Hoboken or Newark for example. NJT has also established some emergency buses to transport customers to light rail and ferry services in Hoboken, Weehawken, and HBLR’s Liberty State Park Station as well as providing limited, direct service to several boarding locations in lower Manhattan. For more information go here.
There are no buses that leave from Maplewood. Residents will need to travel to bus stops below and check bus times here.
Maplewood commuters can take the #25 bus which stops at Springfield Avenue and 43rd Street in Irvington just over the Maplewood border.
The CoachUSA bus #31 can take commuters to Newark, via South Orange Avenue. Read more about it here.
From South Orange:
|19338/19353||107||SLOAN ST AT 2ND ST or VALLEY ST AT 1ST ST||New York|
|19338/19353||92||SLOAN ST AT 2ND ST or VALLEY ST AT 1ST ST||Branch Brook Park Station, Newark|
|19354||31||VALLEY ST AT 1ST ST||Newark|
|29673||70||BROAD ST AT MAPLE ST||Newark Penn Station|
|29674||70||BROAD ST AT SUMMIT AVE||Newark Penn Station|
Livingston Mall also runs a bus, number 73 that runs into Newark. More information here.
Other residents are carpooling into the city, or into Newark Penn Station or to catch a ferry. There are New York Waterway ferries at Paulus Hook in Jersey City and ferries to World Financial Center or 39th Street and also from Weehauken.
For commuters traveling from Hoboken into Manhattan, a new ferry service begins Monday. NJ Transit customers can take a bus to the Hoboken Ferry Terminal and then transfer to a ferry that will take passengers to Pier 79 at 39th street in Manhattan. The fare is $5 and ferries will run back and forth between Hoboken and Manhattan from 6 a.m. – 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Monday thru Friday. Free shuttle buses will be provided from Pier 79 to midtown Manhattan.