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Commuters Pack Penn Station Again After Power Problem Causes More Delays

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- It was a chaotic commute Wednesday for people heading in and out of Penn Station.

Frustrated travelers once again faced delays during rush hour.

Passengers were packed together like sardines in a can at Penn Station on Feb. 12, 2020, after power problems caused train delays. (Credit: CBS2)

Passengers were packed together like sardines in a can at Penn Station, a routine of delays and cancellations that's become par for the course for commuters.

"I've been here for about two and a half hours," said Paul Coates, of Linden, New Jersey.

Coates told CBS2's Jessica Layton he was too tired to even be angry.

"I'm thinking the price of a ticket is way too high for these delays," he said.

"You don't want to go to Penn Station, if you can avoid it," said Barbara Favale Werner, of Red Bank, New Jersey. "There's something inherently wrong."

Wednesday night, it was a power problem that Amtrak had to fix east of the train station, causing delays of at least 30 minutes.

But that was a treat compared to the mayhem last week.

"There were probably 50,000 people in Penn Station, just jammed in together," said Andy Fately, of Basking Ridge.

A different power issue left trains disabled, creating delays of at least two hours. Some passengers spent double that amount of time trapped on trains.

"It's a failure on multiple agencies," commuter Matthew Lloyd said.

DEMANDING ANSWERS: NJ Transit Riders See Red After 'Madhouse' At Penn Station; Sources Say Miscommunication Made Situation Worse

On Wednesday night, NJ Transit tweeted the live stream from its board meeting.

Tempers and frustrated sarcasm followed.

"Is tonight's 30+ min delay on the agenda?" one Twitter user wrote.

"How about you stream NY penn right now. Absolute joke and scam!!!!!" another said.

"You do realize massive train delays again. Oh wait I forgot you don't care," another Twitter user said.

A commissioner on the board of public utilities acknowledged the ongoing failures are serious.

"I believe that unless we restore our services to the level expected by the public, the economic future of the state is at risk," said Bob Gordon, commissioner of the board of public utilities. "At some point, given the impact of commuting on quality of life, people will leave the state."

Trains in and out of Penn Station were mostly back on schedule by Wednesday night, but some commuters said they were going to get home just in time to go to bed and do it all again tomorrow.

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