08.03.15

SCHUMER URGES MTA TO LAUNCH NEW BUS SERVICE TO REPLACE SOON-TO-BE-CANCELED LATE NIGHT TRAIN FROM SECAUCUS TO SPRING VALLEY; SENATOR SAYS IN 60 DAYS COMMUTERS COULD BE LEFT STRANDED & WILL NEED A NEW, AFFORDABLE & CONVENIENT WAY TO GET FROM NYC TO ROCKLAND COUNTY IN LATE NIGHT HOURS

A Weekday Late Night Train From NYC To Rockland County Will Be Eliminated In Less Than 60 Days, Leaving Commuters Who Depend On The Train Without Alternatives 

Schumer Joins Rockland Officials In Urging MTA To Begin Late Night Bus Service For Commuters Traveling To Pearl River, Nanuet And Spring Valley 

Schumer To MTA: Commuters Need A Way To Get Home 

At the Nanuet Train Station in Rockland County, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today stood with local officials and urged the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to come up with an alternative bus service solution for Rockland County residents who will soon need a new way back to Pearl River, Nanuet and Spring Valley during the work week when commuting home from New York City. Schumer explained that, starting September 30, commuters will no longer have the option of taking a late night train that was previously provided by New Jersey Transit (NJ Transit). According to NJ Transit, the 12:45 a.m. train to Spring Valley will be eliminated at the end of September to save money. However, Schumer argued this would leave the Rockland County riders who depend on this train without a way home. Schumer said the soon-to-be-eliminated train is currently the only late night, affordable and convenient way for hard-working, middle-class Rockland County residents to commute back and forth from New York City. Therefore, Schumer urged the MTA to develop a new way for them to get home, and suggested a new bus service from Secaucus or an adjusted bus service from Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan as possible options that could be considered when supplementing the loss of this much-needed train service.

“Discontinuing this service will be a real loss for the commuters in Rockland County who rely on this late-night train to return home after a long day’s work, and it will be a travesty if nothing is done to supplement the elimination of this much-needed train to provide residents with an alternate way of getting home,” said Schumer. “This train is the only affordable, convenient, late-night option for those depend on it to get back to their homes in Pearl River, Nanuet, and Spring Valley. That’s why I am urging the MTA to put pen to paper and come up with a bus service solution as soon as possible, so riders who depend on this late-night train will not be stranded and left without a way home.”

Schumer explained that the NJ Transit’s Pascack Valley Line encompasses the more than 30 miles of track that runs between Spring Valley in Rockland County and the Secaucus and Hoboken Terminals in New Jersey. Service from Hoboken to Spring Valley, which stops in Secaucus, on any given weekday typically begins at 8:55 a.m. and continues through 12:45 a.m. Schumer explained that this 12:45 amtrain is the only affordable, convenient late-night train available to residents commuting home from the New York City area to Rockland County. However, NJ Transit recently decided to eliminate this late-night service, along with several other trains and buses, as a result of budget cuts.

Schumer explained that this service it set to be discontinued as ofSeptember 30, and would be to the detriment of regular riders who utilize this train as their only means of getting home. Schumer said because the next earliest train leaves at 10:42 p.m., the 12:45 a.m.train is the only late-night, affordable and convenient option for residents commuting back to Spring Valley, Nanuet and Pearl River. Therefore, Schumer is urging the MTA to consider bus service alternatives to supplement the loss of this much-needed train service, particularly for the 40 commuters who use it regularly and will no longer have this affordable, convenient way of returning home. If a commuter were to miss that last train, they could be forced to wait there until service resumes in the morning. Schumer said the MTA could consider a new bus from Secaucus or an adjusted bus service from the Port Authority terminal in Manhattan, among other options at its disposal, in order to diminish the negative impact this will have on commuters.

Schumer was joined by Rockland County Executive Ed Day.

“Service cuts and fare hikes disproportionately affect our working-class residents. MTA and Metro-North would go a long way toward addressing Rockland County’s well-documented inequity by simply stepping up to pay the cost to continue operating train #1601.  Short of this, I join with Senator Schumer in urging the MTA to launch express bus service between Secaucus and Rockland County. Metro-North and the MTA should look to close budget gaps by reducing expenses and improving efficiencies, not by cutting trains and making riders pay more,” said Rockland County Executive Ed Day.

A copy of Senator Schumer’s letter to the MTA appears below:

Dear Mr. Prendergast:

I write to urge you to develop a new bus service solution for Rockland County residents who will be affected by the elimination of the late-night New Jersey Transit (NJ Transit) train next month. With the elimination the 12:45 am weekday train from Hoboken on September 30, Rockland County residents who depend on the late-night train will have no affordable, convenient way to get home; I urge you to consider bus service alternatives, including a new bus from Secaucus or an adjusted bus service from the Port Authority terminal in Manhattan, to supplement the loss of this much-needed train service.

As you know, the NJ Transit weekday 12:45 am train from Hoboken to Spring Valley will be eliminated on September 30. New Jersey Transit recently made the decision to eliminate Train 1601, along with several other trains and buses, in a round of budget cuts. According to news reports, approximately forty people ride the train daily, including seventeen who get off on the New York stops, Pearl River, Nanuet, and Spring Valley.

While I appreciate NJ Transit’s efforts to save money, this decision will leave Rockland County riders who depend on this late-night train without a way home. The next earliest train leaves Hoboken at 10:42 pm; the 12:45 am train is the only late-night, affordable, and convenient way for Rockland County residents to get home. Therefore, I urge you to work with community leaders and develop a bus service alternative for Rockland County residents who need a way to get home from New York City late at night during the work week. Possible options could include a new bus service from Secaucus, or an adjusted bus service from the Port Authority bus terminal in Manhattan.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Schumer

United States Senator

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