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Hoboken Terminal at least 2 months from power

December 14, 2012 4:52:07 AM PST
New Jersey Transit's Hoboken station will be without electrical power for at least another two months while an interim substation is being completed, executive director James Weinstein said Thursday at a board meeting in which he faced more public criticism for the agency's pre- and post-Superstorm Sandy performance.

The past six and a half weeks have been an exercise in patience for Hoboken commuters after the PATH station was devastated by flooding during Sandy. Now, commuters are finding out that repairs are nowhere near completion

"I feel like it's never going to happen, honestly," one commuter said.

The New Jersey Transit station there has been running limited service on backup generators since the storm. Now, the Port Authority says it needs weeks to get the heavily damaged PATH station up and running.

Limited service will continue for the time being, making the trip into Manhattan a three-hour ordeal for some commuters.

Because the path doesn't run, I end up having to take the light rail," one Hoboken resident said. "A lot of times the connections aren't good, so it sometimes can take me a lot longer."

Many are frustrated by the delays.

"Two states and they can't get it together to get it up and running?" a commuter asked.

Still, commuters recognize that it could have been much worse.

"Taking the bus, it could be worse," one man said. "A lot of families have it a lot worse than we do here. So I'm thankful."

The Hoboken station has been operating on generators since it reopened about a week after the Oct. 29 storm caused flooding from the Hudson River. Most trains that use the station run on diesel power, but the Gladstone branch, which normally runs on electric power, has had to use diesel since it resumed service last week.

That has meant service on the Gladstone and some of the other lines has been cut back to compensate. About half the regularly scheduled trains on the Gladstone branch aren't running to Hoboken, though other lines into Hoboken are running at about 80 to 90 percent of their normal schedules.

The interim substation should be completed in eight to 10 weeks, but the permanent one could take more than a year, Weinstein said. He added that the new substation would be elevated above flood level.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

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