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How To Navigate Your Commute During Penn Station's 'Summer of Hell'

 Travellers picked up their train tickets at Penn Station on July 2, 2013. 
Travellers picked up their train tickets at Penn Station on July 2, 2013. 
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DNAinfo/Michael Ip

MIDTOWN — Commuters who travel in and out of Penn Station will face what Gov. Andrew Cuomo has called a “summer of hell” as Amtrak starts its planned maintenance work at the transit hub Monday.

Work at the station, which is slated to start wrap up Sept. 1, will have a ripple effect throughout the city, Long Island and New Jersey as trains are rerouted and alternative methods of transportation are put into place.

Amtrak and the MTA have offered some tips for navigating their lines:

New Jersey Transit

► Trains that normally arrive in Manhattan on the Morristown Line and the Gladstone Branch on weekdays will head to Hoboken instead, according to NJ Transit’s website. From there, riders can hop on a PATH train, a NY Waterway Ferry or a NJ Transit 126 bus to make their way into the city.

► Four trains on the Morris & Essex Lines that normally arrive at Penn Station before 7 a.m. (the 6602, the 6604, the 6696 and the 6306) will still travel into Penn Station in the morning, but will not have afternoon return service.

► Morris & Essex customers are encouraged to buy a "Hoboken destination" ticket for July and August, and will be able to get a discount of up to 63 percent off the regular fare.

► Trains that travel into Manhattan on the Montclair-Boonton Line, the Northeast Corridor, the North Jersey Coast Line and Raritan Valley Line on weekdays are slated to be “on regular weekday schedules, with minor time changes.” North Jersey Coast Line trains bound for Hoboken will terminate at Newark Penn Station.

► The rail service’s Main/Bergen, Pascack Valley and Port Jervis Lines will still operate on the same weekday schedules, but riders “may need to adjust their connections to New York at Secaucus" and at Hoboken.

► The Atlantic City Line will continue to operate on a regular weekday schedule.

Select tickets and passes will be “cross-honored” at Hoboken, at Newark Broad Street, on NJ Transit buses, on select private buses, on the NY Waterway Ferry and on PATH trains at Hoboken, 33rd Street and the World Trade Center.

► NY Waterway Ferry boats will travel from Hoboken to West 39th Street in Manhattan every 15 minutes between 7 and 10 a.m. and 4 and 8 p.m.

► NJ Transit will have additional buses and buses on standby at a number of stops along its bus routes. Its Newark Light Rail service will increase the number of trips it takes between Broad Street Station and Newark Penn Station.

► NJ Transit trains will continue to run on a regular weekend schedule throughout the summer.

A full list of service changes and travel alternatives is available here:

Long Island Rail Road

The LIRR recently launched a website to help its customers navigate this summer’s service changes and re-routings, and plans to add cars to its trains and provide discounts for riders.

► From Babylon Branch to West Hempstead Branch, a full list of morning and evening rush-hour schedule changes — including information about which trains will and will not be operating, which trains will be rerouted to Hunterspoint Avenue or Atlantic Terminal — can be found here.

“Park and ride” bus service will be available at North Hempstead Beach Park, Belmont Racetrack, the Valley Stream LIRR stop, Roosevelt Field Shopping Mall, Nassau Coliseum, Bethpage State Park and in Melville, with morning drop-offs at 34th Street and Third Avenue, at 34th Street, between Seventh and Eighth avenues and at Grand Central Terminal. A limited number of parking spots are available at each location.

► In the afternoon, buses will pick passengers up at 34th Street between Lexington and Third avenues, 34th Street between Seventh and Eighth avenues, 42nd Street between First and Second avenues and on Lexington Avenue between 43rd and 44th streets.

► “Kiss and ride” bus service will be available at the Seaford LIRR stop.

LIRR ferries will run between Manhattan and Glen Cove, Hunterspoint Avenue and Long Island City in the morning and evening, with shuttles connecting many of the ferries with inbound and outbound trains. A full list of arrivals and departures can be found here.

► LIRR riders who normally travel straight into Penn Station can instead connect to subway lines at Hunterspoint Avenue, Jamaica and Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn. The MTA will cross-honor LIRR tickets at those three stations during weekday morning rush hour, but will not provide free subway transfers during the evening rush hour, according to its website.

A comprehensive look at service changes and travel alternatives can be found here.


► Weekday repairs won’t affect Amtrak’s Acela Express, but three round-trip Northeast Regional Service trains that travel between Manhattan and Washington D.C. will be canceled. Service from Manhattan to Boston “will operate at currently scheduled levels.”

► Three round-trip Keystone Service trains will start and end their journeys in Philadelphia, while one round-trip train will start and end in Newark, according to Amtrak’s website. Service between Philadelphia and Harrisburg will stay the same.

► Amtrak’s Crescent line between New York and New Orleans will start and end in Washington D.C. each day, with connections available on “other Northeast Corridor trains.”

► Amtrak hasn’t yet said how its Empire Service will be affected by the service changes.

Amtrak's list of "service adjustments" can be found here.