The human traffic bottleneck at New York's Penn Station – the nation's busiest rail hub – has become a waking nightmare for New Jersey commuters, according to The Wall Street Journal.
And infrastructure improvements are making matters worse, the Journal reported.
The average weekday boardings at Penn Station last year numbered 94,859 people, up from 92,314 in 2015 and 87,130 in 2014, Nancy Snyder, a NJ Transit spokeswoman. She added, each weekday, about 57,000 NJ Transit customers alone use Penn Station platforms between the hours of 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Amtrak owns the platforms, stairs and tracks in Penn Station and holds lease agreements with the rail lines – and routes its trains, Long Island Rail Road and NJ Transit trains onto 21 tracks, most of them shared, the Journal reported.
But some tracks are longer than others, and not every train can use every track; some platforms are wider than others too, the Journal reported.
"Mostly it's a people problem with everyone trying to jam into one exit," Lacey Mason, a graphic artist who commutes from Maplewood, N.J., told the Journal.
Robert Paaswell, a professor of civil engineering at the City College, told the Journal, crowding in Penn Station "is symptomatic of the needs of modernization of all our infrastructure."
"If you are touching another person, it's overcrowded," he told the Journal.
Construction of the new $147 million West End Concourse, being built by Empire State Development Corp. as part of the larger Moynihan Train Hall project across from Penn Station, affects tracks 5 through 21 and all three rail operators. The new concourse is supposed to open this spring, the Journal reported.
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