Portal Bridge issues cause NJ Transit delays, frustrating commuters

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Another day, another delay for New Jersey Transit riders.

"It's ridiculous, I feel like we are living in the 18th century," commuter Shoshana Natt said.

On Friday morning, the Portal Bridge operated by Amtrak was stuck in the open position. That meant New Jersey Transit service was suspended in and out of New York Penn Station between New York and Newark.

"I got here, but the train on track is just sitting there," another commuter said.

It sent hundreds of commuters through Hoboken.

"It'll probably end up being 35 minutes, an hour, depending on how bad they're operating it," commuter Dave Gialinilla said.

After hours, Amtrak finally fixed the problem, with one of two tracks operating.

While service resumed, there were major delays, leaving commuters anger at an all-time high.

"Pretty frustrated, I've been doing this for 30 some-odd years, this is the worst it's ever been, absolutely the worst, no question," Gialinilla said.

It all ended with a delayed start to the workday for hundreds.

"I mean it's an everyday thing, you get in on time, you think it's like a miracle," Natt said.

Commuters say this is the life they're accustomed to when dealing with New Jersey Transit.

Governor Phil Murphy released a statement saying:

"This morning, thousands of New Jersey commuters were late for work and needlessly stuck on trains due to early morning malfunctions involving the opening of the century-old Portal Bridge. This was completely unacceptable and, most importantly, avoidable.

"The Portal Bridge is a key part of Phase 1 of the Gateway Program, the nation's most pressing and long-overdue infrastructure project. New Jersey and New York have already held up our sides of the bargain by committing to fund our fair share. But, time and again, the White House and Republican leadership in Congress have failed to understand the critical need for this project to be fully funded. This morning is an example of what happens to commuters and the economy when the federal government is missing in action.

"I applaud Senator Menendez, Senator Booker, Congressman Frelinghuysen, and our bipartisan congressional delegation for fighting tooth and nail to secure funding for the Gateway Program. It's now time for the federal government to step in and end their groundless opposition to a project critical to over 50 million Americans who depend on reliable infrastructure to go about their daily lives."

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