MTA’s Lhota Gives Com­muters Harsh Ul­ti­ma­tum over Penn Sta­tion Con­struc­tion

The Jewish Voice - - NEW YORK - By: Eloise Al­baret

Ac­cord­ing to The New York Daily News, MTA Chair­man, Joe Lhota, is giv­ing com­muters an ul­ti­ma­tum when it comes to the Penn Sta­tion con­struc­tion and re­pairs: either find new ways to get to places or suf­fer through the Sum­mer of Hell.

Lhota may have thought he was be­ing help­ful by sug­gest­ing other al­ter­na­tives, but the tran­sit chair­man only was dis­rupt­ing an al­ready an­gered group of com­muters who rely on Penn Sta­tion ev­ery­day, says The Daily News.

“Try some­thing dif­fer­ent,” said Lhota in a con­fer­ence call. “We’re ask­ing Long Is­landers to change their habits, to try some­thing dif­fer­ent,”

But it’s not al­ways that easy, es­pe­cially when city of­fi­cials are warn­ing com­muters about driv­ing into the al­ready con­gested city, re­ports VIN News.

“Any­one who works in the city un­der­stands the grid­lock that char­ac­ter­izes down­town and mid­town Man­hat­tan dur­ing busi­ness hours. It’s why they chose mass tran­sit to be­gin with,” said New Jersey state Assem­bly­man John Wis­niewski, who is chair­man of the cham­bers trans­porta­tion com­mit­tee.

Lhota said that the MTA is ready for Mon­day’s hel­la­cious com­mute with ex­tra cars on LIRR trains and MTA of­fi­cials are get­ting their com­mu­ni­ca­tion chan­nels in place to make sure ser­vice runs as smoothly as pos­si­ble, re­ports The Daily News.

“We have all of the as­sets that we need to be able to have in place for Mon­day morn­ing,” said Lhota.

But that does not change the at­ti­tude of thou­sands of com­muters. Ac­cord­ing to VIN News, Joey Neri, 30, said in an email that he moved to Edi­son, New Jersey, be­cause of the di­rect train ser­vice to Penn Sta­tion just months be­fore the re­pairs were an­nounced.

Joe Lhota, a sec­ond-time chair­man, who was ap­pointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, vowed that the tran­sit agency will bet­ter com­mu­ni­cate with riders about changes, but that this week will def­i­nitely be tough for com­muters, re­ports Crain’s.

“Mon­day is a test, there’s no question,” said Lhota. “Tues­day is an­other test.”

“It will con­tinue through­out that week,” added Lhota.

Although they have plenty of ad­vice about the hellish com­mute, MTA ex­ec­u­tives are in­fa­mous for not us­ing the tran­sit sys­tem them­selves, says Crain’s. A re­view by the Daily News found that two MTA higher-ups only swiped their free MetroCards twice in two years, re­ports Crain’s.

“I would en­cour­age as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble to take the train,” said Lhota. “If you take the train now, you should take the train next week.”

Lhota said also that the MTA will mon­i­tor Am­trak’s re­pairs to make sure they are on track to be fin­ished by Sept. 1 as planned, re­ports The Daily News.

“We know it is go­ing to be a tough cou­ple of months,” said In­terim Di­rec­tor Ron­nie Hakim. “But it’s tem­po­rary.”

MTA Chair­man, Joe Lhota, is giv­ing com­muters an ul­ti­ma­tum when it comes to the Penn Sta­tion con­struc­tion and re­pairs: either find new ways to get to places or suf­fer through the Sum­mer of Hell.

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