Kevin VeseyMay 12, 2017, 11:21 amJun 28, 2017, 1:00 pm

Governors Cuomo and Christie pen joint letter blasting rail service

New York and New Jersey executives called the transit situation 'intolerable' and want a change in Penn Station's management

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If you speak to Long Island Railroad commuters at the Hicksville station, they will say they are fed up with the problems.

“It's been pretty bad,” said Yoni Bertel of Plainview. “I waited for like 30 minutes packed in Penn Station yesterday; just a mosh pit of people. You can't move.”

Larry Bruckner, another Plainview resident, complained, “It's very crowded. Less trains. People are frustrated.”

The frustration follows another round of delays and cancellations causing nightmare commutes for riders.

The problems are being blamed on Amtrak, which owns and operates Penn Station. Patience has reached a tipping point with some of the region's highest-ranking elected officials.

On Thursday, Governors Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie wrote a harshly worded letter to Amtrak’s president and CEO claiming the situation at Penn Station is intolerable.

The letter also accused Amtrak of decades of “underinvestment" that led to a continuing string of infrastructure failures.

The governors say they want a change in the station's management, and they're calling for "real experts" to come in to improve commuting conditions.

“Every week there's a delay or something,” noted Yoni Bertel. “So yeah, I think that's a good idea.

Earlier in the day, Amtrak CEO Wick Moorman laid out a short-term plan to fix the track condition at the aging transit hub.

The plan calls to eliminate about 25 percent of the trains going into and out of Penn Station for over two months in the summer.

Amtrak says they're giving commuters time to prepare for the disruption according to Moorman:

"Give everyone over a month with lots of information, as I said earlier. We're going to be blasting that out in every way possible to everyone concerned, for people to make their plans."

The governors say they want a qualified, private station operator to step in and take over and would like to approve whichever contractor Amtrak selects to conduct repairs.

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