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