MTA chairman asks for patience, flexibility during Penn repairs
In an exclusive interview with News 12 Long Island, MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota asked Long Island Rail Road commuters for "flexibility" and "patience" during the so-called "Summer of Hell" that begins Monday at Penn Station.
Amtrak is slated to begin two months of track work on Penn Station's aging infrastructure on July 10, which is expected to affect thousands of commuters both on and off the rails.
The chairman says the agency is as prepared as it can be for Monday morning. The MTA and the LIRR have a master plan in place – including alternate routes with financial incentives, subway service, buses and ferries. The bottom line, he says, is that nothing is set in stone.
"We're going to continue to evaluate. Immediately after the rush hour on Monday morning, we're going to see what we did right. We're going to see what we didn't do right and we're going to change it. We're going to stay flexible," says Lhota.
Amtrak has said the work should be finished by Sept 1. It's a date commuters and the MTA are keeping a close eye on.
"If we think they're going to be behind schedule, we're going to make the world know about it," said Lhota. "We do not want to be in this situation after Sept. 1."