Last Monday, the MTA’s Metro-North issued a press release to announce an increase in seating capacity on multiple Port Jervis line trains. Here is the full press release with details courtesy of the MTA:
MTA Metro-North Railroad is adding cars to six Port Jervis Line trains, three in the AM peak and three in the PM peak, beginning Monday June 2 to provide additional seating capacity.
Coincidentally these service improvements mimic contingency plans implemented last week because of a strike by Short Line bus drivers, when eight to 10 trains each day had extra cars to handle people who usually take a bus to work.
Beginning the Tuesday after Memorial Day, when the full impact of the bus drivers strike was felt, Metro-North and NJ TRANSIT began lengthening trains as cars became available to accommodate new customers. Some of those changes are being made permanent as of today.
In the morning the 5:37 a.m. out of Port Jervis will go from six to seven cars, the first time ever that the Port Jervis Line has had a seven-car train.
“This is a testament to the continuing ridership growth on the Port Jervis line, which in the first three months of 2008 grew 5% to over 5800 weekday customers,” said Metro-North President Peter A. Cannito. “These improvements are in response to customer comments, surveys and focus groups and will make our customers more comfortable.”
The 5:05 a.m. out of Port Jervis is being lengthened from five to six cars and the 6:07 a.m., which also makes stop Mahwah and Ramsey in New Jersey, is being lengthened from six to seven cars.
In the afternoon, the 4:47 p.m. out of Hoboken will go from six to seven cars and the biggest train in the evening, the 5:40 p.m. out of Hoboken, is going from six to seven. Finally the 6:27 p.m. out of Hoboken is going from five to six train cars.
Metro-North has a “loading standard” of 92% for West of Hudson trains and although no train has reached that average occupancy–and in fact the highest occupancy train was 89%–the railroad decided to add capacity because of persistent customer requests and the fact that most people on the line have long trips, some over two hours. With the addition of these longer trains, the loading factor on all peak trains will be below 80%.
The railroad has taken seriously the results of its most recent customer satisfaction survey, which showed a drop in satisfaction. In addition, Metro-North has sufficient cars as a result of the purchase of an entirely new fleet of 65 Comet V coaches. NJT, which operates the service for MTA Metro-North Railroad, also is expanding its fleet with a new generation of bi-level coaches now being delivered.
The cost of the new service will be calculated according to the service agreement between Metro-North and NJ TRANSIT and is expected to be less than $200,000 a year.
xoxo Transit Blogger