Wednesday, January 21, 2009

MTA Would Cut Port Jervis Express Service

Among the many draconian provisions included in the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's doomsday fare hike scenario is a plan to reduce express service on Metro North's Port Jervis line. Currently several trains on the 90-mile route skip intermediate stops in New Jersey. This has resulted in speeded up trip times that has made commuting to Manhattan from Orange County more viable. In turn, the express service has helped build passenger demand on the line.

At least one round trip, and possibly two, would go from express to local, according to the Middletown Times Herald Record. The move could increase travel times by 20 minutes and result in more crowding.

The MTA plan also calls for eliminating weekend service on the Pascack Valley line, which was introduced only two years ago. However, the Journal-News, a Rockland County newspaper, quotes a spokesman for NJ Transit, which operates the service on both lines, says his agency wants to keep weekend service going on the route, which terminates in Spring Valley, NY.
"We're not prepared to announce any reduction in service on the Pascack Valley line on the weekend," (NJ Transit Spokesman Dan) Stessel said yesterday.

While Stessel said he understood Metro-North was in a difficult financial position, getting rid of weekend service "is not under consideration" because building ridership on a new rail service requires there to be consistency."

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