If a transit strike happens
NJ Transit rail operations face the prospect of a system-wide shutdown should the membership of its rail union opt to participate in a work stoppage on March 13. This would result in the complete suspension of NJ Transit rail service, affecting more than 160,000 customers who ride the system on a typical weekday. In the event of such a stoppage, NJ Transit has developed a contingency plan that would accommodate up to about 38 percent, or about 40,000 seats, of the existing New York-bound customer base.
This contingency plan includes adding capacity to existing New York commuter bus routes in close proximity to rail stations, contracting with private carriers to operate bus service from key regional park-ride locations during weekday peak periods, increasing capacity on its three light rail systems, and maximizing use of the available capacity on PATH and ferry service.
In the event of a mid-March NJ Transit rail stoppage, the Port Authority will cross-honor NJ Transit rail passengers on PATH trains as capacity allows, and is preparing at its bridges, tunnels and bus stations to handle an expected increase in riders and vehicles, including buses, where possible.
Commuters should expect significant congestion and are urged to leave extra time at the Lincoln and Holland tunnels, PATH rail stations and the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Heavier traffic also is anticipated at the George Washington Bridge and Staten Island bridges.
Commuters should consider traveling before or after the rush hour peak times, during off-peak hours, carpooling, and using added bus, light rail and ferry services, particularly to downtown and midtown Manhattan. Employers are asked to consider telecommuting options for employees where feasible, or instead stagger, compress or otherwise modify work schedules to help reduce congestion during peak hours.
The Port Authority encourages anyone attempting to drive into and out of Manhattan during any rail stoppage to carpool and travel at off-peak hours.
On the PATH rail system, efforts will be made to maximize utilization of capacity during the peak weekday morning and evening hours on the Newark to World Trade Center, Journal Square to 33rd Street and the Hoboken to 33rd Street and Hoboken to World Trade Center lines. PATH will be cross-honoring NJ Transit rail passengers on its system. PATH riders needing to switch to uptown subway lines can travel to the PATH World Trade Center Station, which offers easy access to the MTA subway system, to minimize congestion at the Journal Square and Newport stations.
Motorists and bus riders planning to travel to New York from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and to New Jersey from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. should allow additional travel time and expect significant delays and crowded conditions. All inbound and outbound services at the bus terminal could face heavy volume and extensive delays, particularly during the morning and afternoon commutes.
The Lincoln Tunnel Exclusive Bus Lane (XBL), a contra-flow bus lane serving the Port Authority Bus Terminal, will be operational one hour earlier than normal, starting at 5 a.m., to ease typical morning traffic flow into the tunnel and the Port Authority Bus Terminal. It will remain in operation an hour later, until 11 a.m., to further encourage bus carriers and riders to travel outside peak travel hours.
The agency will be adding towing capacity at tunnel and bridge crossings in the event of accidents or vehicle breakdowns that might further impede traffic flow.
The agency also urges commuters to consider ferries as an alternate means of travel between New Jersey and New York. Thousands of ferry seats are expected to be available to passengers using ferries as a commuting option. Commuters are encouraged to take advantage of ferry service near the Hoboken PATH station, given the expected passenger increases on PATH trains to New York.
In addition, the NJ Transit No. 126 bus route in Hoboken will operate on a reverse routing system on weekday mornings, beginning at Willow Avenue and 19th Street and running south to Hoboken Terminal, for cross-honoring with PATH and nearby ferry service. During evening commutes, the bus route will go from Hoboken Terminal back to Willow and 19th. Weekend service will operate on its regular route, to and from New York.
The Port Authority will provide additional information on its website, www.panynj.gov, with frequent agency alerts and social media posts to keep its travelers up to date on commuting issues and options.
For information regarding NJ Transit’s contingency plans, please visit www.njtransit.com
Walk to benefit ovarian cancer research will be April 2
To help raise awareness about ovarian cancer and to raise funds to eventually develop a test, the New York and New Jersey chapters of the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition will hold their First Annual Run/Walk at Liberty State Park on Saturday, April 2.
The National Ovarian Cancer Organization is the oldest and largest ovarian cancer organization in the United States, and the only one that has “feet on the street” in communities across the nation.
The 5K run/walk in Liberty State Park is one of 20 such events that will be held nationwide in 2016.
The cost for the April 2 walk is $35 for adults if they sign up before March 31. Participants can register online at nnocc.kintera.org/nyc.
Prime Cycle Hosting Benefit for Hudson County CASA
On Saturday, March 12, Prime Cycle will host a Spin for Kids! fundraiser to benefit Hudson County CASA. Beginning at 4:30 p.m., ride with one of your favorite Prime Cycle instructors while supporting a great cause. Enjoy a selection of wine and cheese following the event. The cost is $50 per bike which includes shoes. To register, emailAlexa DeRose at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (201) 795-0900.
All proceeds directly benefit Hudson County CASA, a non-profit organization advocating for local foster children. CASA and its trained volunteers improve quality of life and ensure that needed services are available while helping to secure safe and permanent homes for each child.
Freeholders approve $2.5 million for HIV programs
The Hudson County Board of Freeholders approved the County of Hudson to apply and accept funds from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources Services Administration Ryan White HIV/AIDS Part A grant programs totaling $2,500,000 for fiscal year 2016-2017.
The purpose of the program is to provide services that include outpatient, ambulatory medical care, essential support services, medical case management services and other core medical and social services programs for those living in Hudson County with HIV/AIDS. This also includes Minority Aids Initiative core medical and outreach service dollars.
The program will run from March 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017.