MORRISTOWN, NEW JERSEY -- In response to concerns expressed by residents of the Town of Morristown, Morristown Mayor Timothy Dougherty is planning to form an alliance with neighboring Mayors to express objection and discuss possible alternatives to the Morris & Essex line train diversion announced on Tuesday. The decision made by Governor Christie and NJ Transit to divert all Morris & Essex line Midtown Direct trains to Hoboken for eight weeks, from July 10 through the beginning of September, will directly affect area residents who commute into New York City.
In a press conference delivered by Governor Christie on Tuesday, May 23, he stated that although this diversion is not ideal for New Jersey residents, Morris & Essex line riders will receive a discount to their monthly passes and tickets will be cross-honored on the ferry and PATH. Rerouting trains and the resulting congestion would add not just inconvenience, but would substantially extend commuting times.
“Residents in our area have come forward with their concerns about how the proposed fare discounts will not compensate for the time taken away from their families and loved ones this summer,” said Mayor Dougherty. “I will be meeting with the Mayors of neighboring towns to discuss what the next appropriate step will be to help the riders in the area who share the same opposition as we do.”
Mayors from municipalities who will be affected by the M&E line diversion have openly registered their objections about how this decision was made without consultation of any local elected officials. The M&E line will be diverted to Hoboken due to repairs being made at Penn Station New York. Although Mayor Dougherty has acknowledged that repairs are necessary, he noted that the M&E line is the only line that is affected and it disproportionately causes inconvenience to riders in our area. NJ Transit estimates about 23,000 passengers ride the Morris and Essex line into Penn Station daily