Friday, September 25, 2009

NJ Transit sucks

This is a place where commuters and occasional NJ Transit travelers can voice their opinions about NJ Transit. This is not meant as a criticism of the employees, although you're certainly free to critique them too. More importantly, the service itself is what is needs serious work, to put it need to be polite though.

I take the train often, on the Northeast corridor line, and it is almost always at least 5+ minutes late. It is not uncommon to have the train be 10+ minutes late. Note that the time of day doesn't matter, as I've had this happen numerous times during rush hour and at quieter times.

One the train leaves the station, late, it often crawls along the tracks for no apparent reason. If you're lucky, the conductor will tell you of either "track work" or that there is another train, perhaps an Amtrak, that we're waiting to pass. Aren't these schedules set strictly? Why is this other train, or ours, seemingly such a surprise? Didn't they all know the other was coming, and shouldn't this have been worked into the schedule?

Another question, why don't all the cars match up to the platform at all the stations? Why do I have to walk up or back if I'm in the last 2 or first 2 cars? Are you f'ing kidding?? If I hear "people sitting in car 1492 or 1497 need to walk up until they see a train employee", I'm going to lose my mind.

And, why don't the doors seem to work correctly, regardless of what car I sit in? I can't tell you how many times the train will sit at a station, for a couple of minutes, with the doors open. This is usually followed by the conductor talking over the intercom, telling the ticket takers to "check end doors" or to disable a door. This happens so often that it's embarrassing.

Considering how efficient train travel is in the rest of the world (for decades), especially in Europe and Asia, we are sadly behind the times. Hell, I grew up on Long Island and the LIRR (Long Island Railroad) is far more well run than NJ Transit. As a matter of fact, I had far less problems riding the LIRR in 24 years than I've had with NJ Transit in about 3 years.

Get the f'ing doors fixed, don't make me change cars to exit, pick me up on time and go as fast as is legally allowed. You don't have any problem raising fares, and don't tell me that the new trains are all worth it. A new, shiny train that is still late and slow is just a waste of taxpayers money. How about you stop buying new trains and put money into fixing the doors and ensuring the the length of the train matches up with the platforms.

Any thoughts out there? Agree or disagree? Let's vent, what else can we do?


  1. I agree! Also, the intercom system is a joke! Most of the times you just hear a muffled voice as if the guy in the box was chewing potatoes while speaking. I've heard many people whose first language is English complaining and asking what kind of gibberish was just said, then laughing at the ridiculous situation. Just install a f'ing automated announcement system!