Yesterday, we mulled over a photographic dispatch from the fifth circle in Hell, aka the NJ Transit waiting area at Penn Station. Being stuck there is something we wouldn't wish on our worst enemies—but it looks like commuters who rely on NJ Transit and the PATH are going to be stuck flittering to and fro like amoebas in a Port Authority petri dish for some time more.
While the MTA has done a surprisingly good job putting the subway system back together in the two weeks since Hurricane Sandy brought storm surges and massive flooding to the city, NJ Transit and PATH are still stuck putting their transit system back together. Limited service has led to scenes like the one in the video above becoming a regularity, and officials can't say when it might get back to normal.
"I can't give you a timetable," Mike Marino, the superintendent of way and structures for PATH, told the Journal. "You've got to respect that because I've never seen this kind of devastation in my career. We'll do our best, but there's a lot of work here." PATH, which is run by Port Authority, still has to pump water out of two tubes linked to lower Manhattan; they need to scrub down the caked salt from rails, and disassemble and repair dozens of switches, signals, power structures and other machinery affected by Sandy's flooding.
NJ Transit, which is run by an agency controlled by the governor, is also dealing with fallout from the flooding: harbor water damaged 65 locomotives and 257 passenger cars, almost a third of their transit vehicles. "Every single portion of NJ Transit system was impacted by this storm," said spokesman John Duro Jr.
One business has boomed as a result of these delays however: NJ busing. And even they admit they may have too much business: "It's great for our business," Mark Leo, corporate secretary for Lakeland Buses, told the Journal. "But we only have so many buses and so many drivers. We're just doing the best we can until the trains open. It's been very crowded."