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PATH Commuters Vent As Delays Continue Due To Installation Of New Safety System

JERSEY CITY (CBSNewYork) - PATH commuters took their frustration to social media Thursday after another morning of delays.

Officials say unfortunately the delays are part of growing pains as they make necessary upgrades to make the system safer. including an automatic braking system.

"It has been horrendous," one commuter told CBS2's Dave Carlin.

So far this week, big crowds, delayed trains and confusion for PATH train service.

Riders took to social media as day after day, since Monday, delay alerts and cross honoring announcements rolled in.

"I leave at the normal time and I get to work late. And all these delays and delays. Granted, it's because of positive train control, but they're not notifying anybody," said Jersey City resident Wendy Arevalo.

"You have trains here waiting on the platform for more than 15, 20 minutes before the pull out the train," said commuter James Felix.

"The delays the last couple of days have been because of the new system talking to the old system," PATH Director and General Manager Michael Marino told Carlin in an exclusive interview. He owns the delays, recognizing the problem as a side effect of the federally mandated shift to positive train control technology.

"What we are seeing here, were they hiccups, were they growing pains, or problems that were anticipated?" Carlin asked.

"We anticipated problems because of the technology," Marino said. "Monday was the first day. We cut the system over Monday morning at 5 o'clock."

"It's like it's going from from the rotary telephone to an iPhone in the learning curve," Marino said. "Not only for our employees, but also for the passengers."

Here are some PATH facts: 300,000 daily riders on 13.8 miles of track. Only two of them: One in, one out.

The new system will be fully installed by the end of the year.

"We heard the term before: 'summer of hell.' Do you think it will be a summer of hell of PATH?" Carlin asked.

"I feel secure this will not be the summer of hell," Marino said.

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