5. You Can Tell Which Area of Penn Station You’re In By the Floors


As John Schettino pointed out, Penn Station is both congested and confusing, with congestion amplified because of confusion. He points out that each area of Penn Station is managed separately – Amtrak, Long Island Railroad, New Jersey Transit and the MTA subway system– with very little alignment between them, particularly in terms of wayfinding signage.

One of the ways we show our tour-goers how to tell where you in Penn Station is to look at the floors. Each part of the station has a different type of floor, depending on which transit agency area you’re in – marble for New Jersey Transit, the area most people agree is the nicest in the station, the granite-like tile in the Long Island Railroad area, and the massive blocks of tile in the Amtrak area, separated by silver joints.  The cleaning crews of each also literally only go up to the line of their jurisdiction, conveniently noted by the change in floor pattern.