Crew shortages being blamed for canceled NJ Transit trains

HOBOKEN, New Jersey (WABC) -- New Jersey Transit riders faced yet another round of problems for the Tuesday commute.

Due to a lack of locomotive engineers, New Jersey Transit had to cancel some service on on the North Jersey Coastline and the Northeast Corridor.

Public reports say some transit workers are not happy with changes in their shift schedules due to the track work being done at Penn Station. The summer schedule changes that were made for the Penn Station work allowed the senior locomotive engineers to pick their train schedules. That move displaced junior engineers to new schedules.

As a part of the the engineers' contracts, when schedules are altered, the junior engineers who may have been moved have 48 hours to report to their new shifts. Starting Monday, some junior engineers decided to use that option, and that began a domino effect, leading to cancellations.

New Jersey Transit can't predict how many trains will be affected until they see the staffing. NJ Transit said they worked closely with the union and the locomotive engineer.

New Jersey Transit put out a statement Tuesday morning saying they want the few individual employees to put customers and the public first, and not exercise this contractual obligation which allows them to stay out for two days. Now, to add to the problem, engineers already have their summer vacation schedules, so a lot of them are on vacation. Then there are also engineers making sick calls.

New Jersey Transit says they can't predict what will happen for the afternoon rush.

During the Monday evening rush, four NJ Transit trains were also canceled due to a crew shortage.

Some of the trains that normally went to Penn Station ended at Hoboken, and from there, commuters were advised to take a bus, hop on a ferry, or take the PATH.

For more on service changes, CLICK HERE.


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