NEW YORK - Amtrak is calling its first week of summer-long track work at New York's Penn Station a success.
Friday marked the fifth day of major repairs that are forcing commuter rail lines to cut back schedules. The work is to go through the end of August.
Amtrak COO Scot Naparstek says the first week went smoothly.
"We've had a very good week." Naparstek said. "if anything, we're a little bit ahead of schedule right now."
He commended commuters for their patience and ability to adapt to the new schedules by taking earlier or later trains, or other forms of transportation.
Naparstek says there were no other problems - for instance, overhead wire failures in Penn Station's tunnels - that would have slowed down the project this week.
As for the impact on the commute, MTA Chairman and CEO Joe Lhota said LIRR ridership into Penn Station was down 8% in the morning, but only down 1% in evening rush.
Bus service was not being fully utilized, so the MTA pulled back some of the service.
The Glen Cove ferries are running at about 35% to 40% full. Those are doing better than the ferries to Hunters Point.
Even though the free services are not being fully utilized, MTA is not planning more reductions.
"People may have been on vacation this week. We'll have to monitor that for a couple of weeks to see if we roll any of it back," Lhota said.
Timelapse of Penn Station repairs
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