ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Governor Andrew Cuomo is warning of a “looming emergency” at the state’s busiest train station. That could cause a transit mess as far as the Capital Region.
Believe it or not, more people go through Penn Station than JFK, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty International airports combined.
Many of those people are leaving from the Rensselaer train station especially on a busy holiday weekend like this one.
Taking off from the train station during Memorial Day weekend has become a ritual for Kathy Tobiassen and her best friend Julia.
“My best friend and I are going down to NYC for the Memorial Day weekend, it’s a tradition,” Julia said.
Whether they stick to their plan all depends on the Amtrak train they’re on.
“I find it can really be random,” Tobiassen said.
“Sometimes you’ll be stopped for an indeterminate period of time and kind of wondering what’s going on,” Julia said.
As thousands of commuters like Kathy and Julia visit NYC this weekend, at the heart of it all is Penn Station. That’s where Gov. Cuomo wants to make some major overhauls.
“Penn has been deteriorating literally for 50 years,” Gov. Cuomo said.
The old parts, mechanical problems, equipment malfunctions, and disabled trains have stranded hundreds of passengers out of Penn Station that were bound for Albany.
Some delays so bad passengers have even ordered delivery pizza
“I think the whole system needs to be revamped.”
“Short term we need major renovation at Amtrak,” Gov. Cuomo said.
Gov. Cuomo has written a letter to the president with a few options like letting the state or Port Authority take over Penn Station or Amtrak bringing a private contractor.
“President Trump has talked about a trillion dollar infrastructure program. What better project could you have than this project?”
Travelers taking off from the Capital Region aren’t opposed to spending the money where they say it’s needed.
“It’s a great form of travel but it should be state of the art.”
The governor is hoping for a quick federal response.