Gateway Tunnel

Governor Cuomo's Office

Study: NY, NJ Rail Commuters See 5-Hour Delays 17 Times Per Year

July 22, 2019 - 3:13 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — New numbers released Monday revealed just how dire the rail commute on New Jersey Transit has become between New York and New Jersey.

Millions of commuters were stranded for five hours or more at least 85 times between 2014 and 2018, according to the Gateway Development Corporation.

The group has been overseeing the effort to build a new crossings over and under the Hudson River – known as the Gateway Tunnel Project.

The current crossing is over 100-years-old and the need for a new tunnel increased after Superstorm Sandy caused extensive damage to the existing tunnels. Following the major storm, the delays, cancelations and service suspensions increased tenfold.

“We hear of people of losing jobs, losing job opportunities and no less of missing a school child's play at the end of the day, at night because you can't get home,” said the group’s chairman Jay Zaro.

The problems persist nearly every month, according to Gateway Tunnel Project staffer Steven Sigmund.

“Every month, there is a day and a half essentially on average, where there is more than five hours of total delay on Amtrak and New Jersey Transit trains,” he explained.

The delays are caused by a variety of problems including cable failures, ice build-up, corrosion and signal issues.

The group’s study says the delays cost commuters almost 2,000 hours in extra commuting time.

The $13.7 billion project has been stalled by disputes between New York, New Jersey and the federal government over how the project will be paid for.

"The current Hudson River train tunnels are in dire condition, and it's only a matter of time before one or both tubes fail. Building the new Hudson Tunnel Project is the single most important infrastructure project in our nation, but the Trump administration has abdicated its responsibility by failing to pay their fair share to replace this federally-owned asset,” Gov. Phil Murphy and Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a joint statement. "While the Trump administration continues to put politics ahead of the safety and economic security of the nation, New York and New Jersey are working together to get the job done. The signing of this legislation will statutorily create the Gateway Development Commission as a bi-state entity to facilitate the new Hudson Tunnel Project."

The New York and New Jersey Democrats say the project isn't just about the two states, "it's about the entire national economy."