Ed Day, Rockland County Executive


September 15, 2017
Contact: Jane Lerner, Director of Strategic Communications
Office of the County Executive (845) 638-5645

Rockland County Executive Fights for Rail Commuters: Wins Agreements from NJ Transit, Metro-North

NEW CITY, NY – Rockland County was able to gain agreements from NJ Transit and Metro-North after expressing frustration with lack of notice and limited options for commuters during scheduled repair work, County Executive Ed Day said.

"Due to our efforts, Rockland commuters who use the rails will now have more options during this maintenance project," Day said. "We hope that the actions we took make it a little easier for Rockland commuters to get where they need to go."

NJ Transit and Metro-North have agreed to cross-honor Pascack Valley Line monthly and weekly passes on both weekdays and weekends on both the Hudson Line and the Main/Bergen line, the County Executive said.

Commuters on the Pascack Valley Line were notified late last week that rail service would be interrupted for six weeks starting a week later on Sunday, September 17.

They were told that substitute buses would run in place of trains from station between Spring Valley and Secaucus.

"It was unacceptable to us that customers were only given a week's notice and were only told after they had purchased their monthly passes," Day said.

Day said that while he understands that grade crossing repair, signal and track maintenance work must be done, the commuter lines have a responsibility to riders.

"NJ Transit must do better to notify customers and the County in a timely manner, and Metro-North must do more to oversee its operating contract with NJ Transit, to ensure that Rockland County commuters are properly served," he said.

Day directed the Rockland County Department of Public Transportation to reach out to NJ Transit and Metro-North to express the County's frustration with the short notice and lack of communication for Rockland commuters who use the Pascack Valley Line.

The agencies were also told that commuters and Rockland County government were angry with the 8:50 am train being called a "midday" train, as well as the initial lack of ticket cross-honoring.

"We are pleased to report that both NJ Transit and Metro-North were very responsive and have agreed to the County's requests," Day said.

While busing is in effect:

• Metro-North has agreed to cross-honor monthly and weekly Pascack Valley Line passes on the Hudson Line at Tarrytown Station for travel to/from Grand Central.
• NJ Transit has agreed to honor Pascack Valley Line passes on Main/Bergen line trains.
• Rockland County will cross honor Pascack Valley Line tickets on its TAPPAN ZEExpress buses for commuters who wish to access the Hudson Line at Tarrytown.

"We requested assurance that information about the Temporary Busing Plan be promptly communicated to eliminate confusion," he said. "We made it clear that customers must not only be made fully aware of the busing plan in advance, but they must be made aware that the bus must be boarded at a different location from where they board the train, and in some cases, at a different time."

NJ Transit has apologized for the short notice and stated that they will make sure the transition is as smooth as possible.

All of the Pascack Valley Line ticket cross-honoring arrangements requested of both Metro-North and NJ Transit are now in place and the information NJ Transit is providing to customers has been updated.

The Public Transportation Department has also posted information on the County website to ensure Pascack Valley Line commuters have the information they need.

"We will continue to stay in touch with both agencies to ensure our Rockland commuters are impacted as little as possible during the Pascack Valley Line service interruption," Day said.

For TAPPAN ZEExpress bus schedules or links to other transit schedules and information, go here