WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Metro-North trains are scheduled to return to a full schedule Friday, but commuters lamented Thursday after enduring almost three full days of delays.
After a fire on the rail line sparked in Harlem on Tuesday, Metro-North has been forced to operate on an “enhanced Saturday schedule,” where they provided approximately 75 percent of ridership capacity during peak commuting times.
According to a Metro-North spokesperson, “crews have made significant progress on repairs to the railroad’s Park Avenue Viaduct that was damaged by Tuesday’s four-alarm fire beneath the structure,” which has allowed them to bring a third track back in service during the peak ridership period. They are hopeful things will be back to normal for Friday morning’s commute.
While waiting for a ride to Grand Central Terminal in New Rochelle, Melissa Garrity said that she had to skip a train earlier because there were simply no seats available.
“It was pretty wild, there were people from top to bottom, there was no way I was going to be able to get on,” she said. “I just hope that they can get everything up and running soon so this can stop.”
On Wednesday, New Rochelle resident Gary Shales said his commute from Manhattan back home took nearly two hours, after two of the four tracks were shuttered and trains were slowed to 30 mph as repairs took place in Harlem.
“Things were a mess, but these things will happen, it’s nobody’s fault,” he said. “I’m sure the people forced to repair it are as annoyed as we are.”
In Mount Vernon - which sports three Metro-North stations - Mayor Richard Thomas suggested that commuters seek alternative solutions until the train situation is cleared up.
“Our transit systems are reliable and providing vital alternatives to reaching work in a timely, affordable, safe and convenient fashion,” he stated. “Existing infrastructures (should be) flexible and adaptable to virtually any situation, (which) will benefit the MTA’s thousands of passengers during and after the recent shutdown of Grand Central Station.”