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A month after Superstorm Sandy, Rockland train riders still face tough commutes

Posted By Theresa Juva-Brown On November 27, 2012 @ 1:32 pm In MetroNorth,MTA,New Jersey Transit,Pascack Valley Line | Comments Disabled


(A service closure sign at the Hoboken PATH station on Nov. 26, 2012. Photo credit: Dennis Graiani)

Before Sandy hit, Dennis Graiani’s daily commute on the Pascack Valley line was already almost two hours each way.

Now it takes the 23-year-old from New City up to three hours to reach his midtown Manhattan office and almost as long to get home in the evening.  The Pascack Valley line is part of the MTA’s Metro-North system, but is operated by NJ Transit.

Graiani, who  works for a radio program distribution company, has been emailing me about his daily trek.

Here is Monday’s account:

The PVL is on an almost-normal schedule again.  My friend Ken and I have been taking it since the first day it came back 2 weeks ago.  Since PATH is still not going to Hoboken, we have been walking from Hoboken to the Newport station in Jersey City and taking PATH from there.  The trains have been very crowded, as there had been only one line running (Newark – 33rd St) and Newport is the last stop before NY.  We were often waiting at Newport 3 or 4 trains until we could fit on one.

Today should have been better, as they were going to bring back the Newark-WTC line, and the line through Newport was only going as far as Journal Square.  The crowds should have been better, but they had power problems on the WTC line, so the crowds today were terrible.  After we both waited 3 trains, my friend got on.  I was stuck in the station for a few more trains before I could fit.  They eventually closed Newport station because it was too crowded.

It’s been quite the adventure!

Today he realized he will soon face another obstacle:
Today was a bit better.  I managed to get in to the office about 9:30.  Yesterday, I got in after 10 (I leave my house at 7AM!)  The Newark-WTC line was running, to my knowledge, but PATH was still crowded… not nearly as much as yesterday, but we still squeezed on the train.  I’m also dreading an upcoming construction project that’s going to have the Waterfront walkway from Hoboken Terminal to Newport closed for several days.  We may end up having to take the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail to Newport instead of walking.

In a phone conversation, Graiani said he doesn’t mind the mile-long walk from Hoboken to Newport, but that may soon change.

“With the winter weather coming, I am hoping the PATH is back up soon,” he said.  “This walking is going to get old very fast.”

Are you a Rockland commuter on the Port Jervis or Pascack Valley lines? What has your daily commute been like in the aftermath of Sandy? Email me at tjuva@lohud.com to share your story.

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