Train in vain

What a shit show. I wonder if the NJ Transit higher-ups are all Christie cronies too:

Before the game, reports indicated that “several” people traveling to Sunday’s Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium collapsed while waiting at the Secaucus, N.J., train station, which was serving as the central hub for people taking mass transportation to the game. Problems also persisted after the game, with delays so bad that the announcer asked fans planning to take the train home to wait in the stadium to avoid further bottlenecks.

[…]

As early as 1 p.m. ET, some began tweeting about the lengthy wait at the small station, with estimates of one- to two-hour waits for a train.

Nice job estimating, idiots:

By 4 p.m., NJ Transit said, the train had carried 27,000 fans to the game, surpassing the old record of 22,000 in 2009 for a U2 concert and much higher than the 12,000 that had been predicted.






55 replies
  1. 1
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Because people faced with the choice of a free train or a $50 bus will always opt for the convenience of the bus.

  2. 2
    gbear says:

    All those high rollers getting treated like the unwashed masses. That should go down well…

  3. 3
    aimai says:

    As I understand it–with the proviso that I don’t watch FB or give a flying fuck–they instituted all kinds of weird rules in advance to pump money into the pockets of the limo business. They artificially prevented cabs, buses and individual drivers from entering to pick people up. And no doubt they told the Train companies that it was all taken care of and not to worry their pretty little heads.

    This clusterfuck was designed, not accidental. But it was designed by very stupid people with one end in view: payoffs from some companies. There wasn’t enough money in facilitating busing people to the train station in a timely manner and negotiating with the train companies to make sure there were enough trains available on a fast enough schedule. Since every single major sporting event faces the exact same problem: getting people in and out, you have to ascribe to malevolence, cupidity, and stupidity what is a complete dereliction of duty by the planners and the politicians responsible for this event.

  4. 4
    brendancalling says:

    Living in Philly, you come to appreciate NJT’s reliability, at least the Trenton-NY line (don’t get me started on SEPTA).
    But I’m actually not surprised, although I have no idea if NJT is run by Christie’s cronies. The entire administration seems to be in total disarray and panic right now, so I can see them dropping the ball.

    Interestingly, there didn’t seem to be ANY footage of Christie last night. You’d figure they’d be showcasing the governor of the great state of NJ, which was hosting one of the biggest sportsball events in the country.

    I wonder why no footage? What could it be?

  5. 5
    brendancalling says:

    Living in Philly, you come to appreciate NJT’s reliability, at least the Trenton-NY line (don’t get me started on SEPTA).
    But I’m actually not surprised, although I have no idea if NJT is run by Christie’s cronies. The entire administration seems to be in total disarray and panic right now, so I can see them dropping the ball.

    Interestingly, there didn’t seem to be ANY footage of Christie last night. You’d figure they’d be showcasing the governor of the great state of NJ, which was hosting one of the biggest sportsball events in the country.

    I wonder why no footage? What could it be?

  6. 6

    This was pure greed.

    $50 bus
    No drop offs, ie shared taxi, Uber etc..
    Exhorbinant priced parking

    $10 train of course was packed.

    Why didn’t they add trains once they knew how many people arrived by train?

  7. 7
    aimai says:

    I wanted to add the important expression that I learned at Weight Watchers, of all places, thirty years ago:

    “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” There is just no excuse for fucking this up.

  8. 8
    Belafon says:

    So, someone thought U2 would be a bigger deal than the Super Bowl.

  9. 9
    Rafer Janders says:

    I was at that U2 show, and it took…a long time to get home. Given that experience, there’s no way they shouldn’t have anticipated this crowd.

    And last night was with good weather. If the snowstorm that’s hitting the region now had come in a few hours earlier, holy god, it would have been an absolute disaster.

  10. 10
    PurpleGirl says:

    @aimai: I believe the trains are operated by the Port Authority of NY and NJ. It’s a semi-governmental corporation. And they could have planned much, much better than they apparently did.

  11. 11
    Cervantes says:

    @brendancalling:

    I have no idea if NJT is run by Christie’s cronies.

    Well, by law, NJT’s Board members are appointed by the Governor. And yes, there are names on the current Board you might recognize from recent events.

  12. 12
    Roger Moore says:

    @PurpleGirl:

    The trains are operated by the Port Authority of NY and NJ.

    The exact same organization involved in Bridgeghazi. What a shock.

  13. 13
    slippytoad says:

    @aimai:

    That couldn’t be a more hilarious context. It’s apparently uncool to pick on Christie’s weight but it’s probably also true that if he ever tried to learn some self-control through such a program, he might not be in the shit he’s in today.

  14. 14
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @aimai:

    This clusterfuck was designed, not accidental. But it was designed by very stupid people with one end in view: payoffs from some companies.

    It was also designed in the context of SOP which is to host in a city without any kind of viable public transport near the stadium and so the “courtesy” transportation options are an unavoidable expense. Next year it’s Glendale, which isn’t connected to the Phoenix light rail system, and normal service will resume.

    That said, people from the area have said that NJT and the Meadowlands are terrible at coordinating on big events whether they’re sportsball or concerts.

    I’ve taken the Tube from the old Wembley stadium (for both gigs and sport) and while it’s a lot of people to move, there’s usually a handful of trains queued up to clear the initial numbers from the platform and station to ensure that it doesn’t get backed up all the way.

  15. 15
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @PurpleGirl: NJ Transit and PANYNJ are completely separate. The train problem yesterday is fully on NJT.

  16. 16
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Thanks for the correction. NJ Transit is still one of the semi-governmental corporations, isn’t it?

  17. 17
  18. 18
    Tommy says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: Gawker had the “rules” for getting to the stadium and I was stunned they could even have rules like this. I mean how can they say I can’t take a cab or a non-NFL approved bus? But those were just some of the rules.

    When I lived in DC we often had very large crowds. You know things like the Million Man March and Inaugurations. People always bitched, but I lived there pretty much pre-9/11 and they scaled up. Again not perfect, but pretty darn amazing when you are talking 250,000, 500,000, or a million people trying to get to one location in a major metro area.

    Now I am no expert on NY/NJ public transportation. Most of the time when I was in NYC it was for a conference and I was downtown. I used cabs or just walked. But a few times I got to NYC from DC via Amtrak and then went directly out to conference facilities in like White Plains via a commuter train, and I was always stunned how easy it was to get around.

    I can’t believe a city of that size can’t scale to the needs of somebody going to a sporting event that only seats like 80,000.

  19. 19
    NorthLeft12 says:

    “much higher than the 12,000 that had been predicted.” I think the original estimate was based on the premise that the real Americans who would be attending the Super Bowl would spit on any form of mass transit for its socialist implications. The twelve thousand estimate must have been based on the total number of DFHs that would attend the game just for the half time show.

    Okay, say it with me…….Whocoodaknown!??!!

  20. 20
    Ellen says:

    Of course NJT is stocked with Christie cronies. During Super Storm Sandy, those geniuses moved millions of dollars worth of equipment to low lying areas which were flooded and the equipment was lost, even thought NJT’s disaster plan warned against this and had a contingency to move the trains to higher ground. After the fiasco, Christie claimed it wasn’t his guy’s fault, but was ordered by a low level civil servant who was immune from firing. When it was pointed out that New Jersey Transit is not civil service and Christie lied about that the way he lies about everything else, the Governor’s office ignored it, and it was dropped by the craven local press. It is not surprising that this gang could get away with the bridge closing the way they got away with everything else.

  21. 21
    MattF says:

    Clearly one of those ‘Heck of a job, Brownie’ situations. But going to football games, rather than watching on TV, is an exercise in masochism, IMO. There’s a game on the field, but the physical spectators– once they’ve paid for their tickets– are regarded as an incidental factor.

  22. 22
    daveNYC says:

    I think it’s pure government. Same as the MTA or pretty much any other public transportation agency.

    What’s funny is that a few years ago, Bloomberg floated the idea of building a tunnel out so that the 7 train could go out to Secaucus.

  23. 23
    daveNYC says:

    I think it’s pure government. Same as the MTA or pretty much any other public transportation agency.

    What’s funny is that a few years ago, Bloomberg floated the idea of building a tunnel out so that the 7 train could go out to Secaucus.

  24. 24
    burnspbesq says:

    Hmmm … sounds exactly like getting to RFK on the Orange Line for a World Cup qualifier, or taking the number 13 tram from downtown Basel to St. Jakob’s Park, or taking the Metro number 9 line to Parc des Princes, or the light rail from the Manchester CBD to Old Trafford (all of which I’ve done, and lived to laugh about it).

    No mass transit system on earth has ever been designed with game day in mind. They’re designed for the regular weekday commute. Anyone who didn’t expect and prepare for this is a fucking moron, whose whingeing interests me not in the slightest.

  25. 25
    rikyrah says:

    White Cop Fired After Hacking Off Woman’s Weave

    The incident was caught on tape at a suburban Detroit police department on Nov. 13.
    BY: LYNETTE HOLLOWAY
    Posted: Feb. 2 2014 1:12 PM

    A white police officer from suburban Detroit is out of a job after she was caught on tape violently hacking off a young hairdresser’s weave during an arrest in November,the Daily News reports.

    Bernadette Najor was fired from the Warren Police Department in Warren, Mich., after the incident, the News says. Najor reportedly had a history of disciplinary problems, including a 2010 suspension for lying to her superiors, WXYZ-TV reports.

    http://www.theroot.com/article.....c=obinsite

  26. 26
    Bargal20 says:

    Maybe they were conducting a “train study”.

  27. 27
    daveNYC says:

    @burnspbesq: The subway works fairly well for getting to/from the local baseball stadiums, but the key thing there is that they’ve got extra trains lined up for the exiting crowd. Literally two or three extra trains backed up on the track.

    NJT is staffed by morons.

  28. 28
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Bargal20: Win.

  29. 29
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Tommy:

    I mean how can they say I can’t take a cab or a non-NFL approved bus?

    I can see the need for some kind of traffic control: you don’t want the team buses being held up because of a hundred cabs and town cars. But you can do that without an obvious attempt to treat the crowd as a cash cow.

  30. 30
    aimai says:

    @Anthony J Scotti: Because they must have cut side deals to try to force people into the more expensive categories of transit. Somebody got paid off and the flip side of being paid off by corporation X (rent seeking by X) is that you have to create a monopoly situation so they can benefit, you have to exclude other, cheaper, alternatives.

  31. 31
    Napoleon says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:

    Could be a security thing as well. If any vehicle could just pull up to the stadium next thing you know you have the “Timothy McVeigh Limo Co.” limo pulling up.

  32. 32
    OGLiberal says:

    As a NJT customer, I have cursed them many times – and they are often inept. (although they seem to blame most of the problems on Amtrak – tracks on the NE Corridor and the tunnel are owned by Amtrak – could have had an NJT tunnel into NYC but CC had to quash it because liberals liked it) As Atrios noted, you can only run so many trains but they should have had more busses to pick up the overflow. That said, I read that one reason – not the only one – for the delays and backups in the station were because every single freaking bag was being checked before people could enter the platform. Yes, security is important, but the bags are going to be checked at the stadium…why check before entering the train? They don’t check them during the regular AM/PM commute.

  33. 33
    Tommy says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: Look I totally get the cabs. No need for them. But a bus? It is easy to get to a Cardinals game in St. Louis cause we use buses. Both apart of the Cardinals and third parties. I’ve been there for the World Series game and the All-Star game and it wasn’t that hard to get around.

    Now given, given St. Louis isn’t NYC. They are not the same thing. When I look at what I have to pay to attend a game. Pay for parking if I drive. The cost of a ticket or two. Food and beverages. So easy to stay at home. I can buy nice steaks, shrimp, and maybe buy a TV just for what it costs me to take four people to a game.

    The NFL better understand this ….

  34. 34
    Keith G says:

    I mean how can they say I can’t take a cab or a non-NFL approved bus? But those were just some of the rules.

    This is such a gimme for a political leader with guts.

    In microcosm, this is the 1% and their go-fers making rules that line their pockets while massively screwing the rest. They do it in banking, real estate, and labor and trade policies. Why would they treat the super bowl any different?

  35. 35
    rikyrah says:

    Greg Sargent ✔ @ThePlumLineGS
    Follow
    So @hillaryclinton waited until it was 100% safe before taking stand against Iran sanctions bill: http://www.latimes.com/world/w.....z2sHCIP4ES

    9:21 AM – 3 Feb 2014

  36. 36
    Keith G says:

    @Napoleon: That can be easily dealt with via checkpoints.

  37. 37
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    They didn’t plan for extra trains?

    They didn’t plan for extra trains?

    How fucking stupid can you possibly be?

    This fuckup was forseen, it was preventable. The dumbshits executed their greedy plan anyway.

    The heads of these idiots need to be on pikes.

  38. 38
    WaterGirl says:

    @rikyrah: If this is the story about the woman who may have been raped and went to the police – then I want to know why the hell all the male police officers who restrained this poor woman weren’t also fired.

  39. 39
    Rafer Janders says:

    @burnspbesq:

    No mass transit system on earth has ever been designed with game day in mind. They’re designed for the regular weekday commute.

    Well, football maybe, but between the Yankees, Mets, Rangers, Knicks and Nets, it’s very often game day somewhere in New York (and oftentimes there’s multiple games), and the subways and buses handle those crowds just fine, and often during weekday rush hour.

  40. 40
    West of the Cascades says:

    I’m waiting for Chris Christie’s news conference in which he disclaims any knowledge that the trains might be packed and fires the head of the NJT board for not telling him.

  41. 41
    Origuy says:

    Well, the light rail goes right by Levi Stadium in Santa Clara, so I expect that in 2016 they’ll at least get this right. It connects with CalTrain, which goes to SF, where most people are expected to stay.

  42. 42
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Anthony J Scotti:

    Why didn’t they add trains once they knew how many people arrived by train?

    More trains cost $$$. You realize they’re subsidized, right? So somebody would have to agree to pay to run them unless they are in a surplus with operating costs at their price point and that would not at all be typical for commuter rail anywhere in North America.

    I think in Boston TPTB arrange in advance to have extra trolleys and stuff for big events like July 4. Though it doesn’t hurt that big events that bring in out of towners mean more one-time cash fares and less monthly farecard riders and at least at one time MBTA was operating positive on the Green Line “D” Branch. (They were operating positive on the ex-“A” branch, the Route 57 bus, but took the money and spent it elsewhere, for example, on commuter rail (which is what NJT is, just saying) costs, rather than providing the level of service their transit dependent, non-car owners in Brighton, MA needed.)

    It’s funny how tolls are “social engineering” but creating a $50 bus monopoly vs $10 train ride leading to a massive train rider crush is something that, once again, “nobody could have predicted”.

    Why is it that “free market” conservatives are so criminally bad at math and logical reasoning?

  43. 43
    Another Holocene Human says:

    Sorry, had to rant about the Rt 57 and so on. All of those numbers come from their mandatory NTD filings to the Federal Transit Administration, which provides a lot of their funding, during the late 1990s and early 2000s. You can check it out for yourself on the Bureau of Transportation Statistics web site. APTA publishes some figures too, but that’s voluntary reporting.

  44. 44
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @slippytoad: Are you seriously suggesting that joining Weight Watchers can cure you of a personality disorder and/or congenital traits? I mean, they’ve done studies starting with 2 year olds and showing they are born with different propensities to delay pleasure.

    The parental suing threat makes me think PD, as I think his parents taught him his whole life to treat life and other people that way and he’s never had to change. Jerk kids often have jerk parents right behind them.

  45. 45
    ThresherK says:

    @Another Holocene Human: Bit of off-topic, but are you still interested in the state of the laptop keyboard circa 2014?

  46. 46
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @ThresherK: Yes. What you got?

  47. 47
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Tommy: Too right. You are correct about your numbers, too. Metro accommodated Clinton’s first inaugural and that was the greatest # they had ever carried in one day to that point. It was IIRC over 400K people, far in excess of this supposed meltdown yesterday. I agree about taking Amtrak to NYC metro commuter rail. I’ve taken a number of NJT’s commuter rail lines into NYC.

    The big difference is that commuter rail is designed for longer distances, higher speeds, but less riders than a rapid transit line like Metro. Possibly things would have gone differently if the stadium had been on an actual rapid transit line.

    VRE and Marc would probably be a mess with 28K people all trying to leave at once, too.

    Although back when there was a baseball train I took the baseball train back to DC after an Orioles game and it was just fine.

  48. 48
    Ruckus says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    Why is it that “free market” conservatives are so criminally bad at math and logical reasoning?

    Really, I think you’ve answered your own question. Except you have it backwards. They are bad at math and logical reasoning, that’s why they are “free market” conservatives. Actually that explains conservatives.

  49. 49
    ThresherK says:

    @Another Holocene Human: I played around at a retailer’s offering some marked-down crazy sales (their phrase) from Dell, Toshiva, Lenovo and HP.

    It appears that there’s one size keyboard for these makers applied to laptops with screens from about 14″ to 17″ range. Smaller than that and the Chromebook is becoming the thing that gets built. (It’s not for me.) More importantly, not just the one keyboard with same-sized keys and internal spacing (say, between the Z and the M on the bottom row), but the space in front of the keyboards, with the trackpads, seem to be about the same depth for a 14″ to 17″ display laptop.

    (My personal preference is for a trackpad, not the little nipple-sized joystick between the G and H, so that may affect your experience. And mind you my old laptop was a D630 Dell.)

    The HP keyboards were the worst. The Toshibas were acceptable, the Lenovos a bit better than that, and the Dells I found the best.

    But what this really taught me was that the keyboard was the biggest X factor for me, personally. So I went to Dell’s factory refurbished department and came out with a Latitude E6410. It arrived last week. They have “cosmetic grade A” or “B” and spent the small amount extra for “A”. Windows 7 (my preference), an Intel Core i5 modern processor (no Pentium or Celery).

    And a real keyboard which I find much more suitable to touch-typing than anything new.

    Hope that helps.

  50. 50
    Violet says:

    The worst rule about getting to the stadium is that you couldn’t even walk. You had to take the train or bus. That was utterly ridiculous.

  51. 51
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @ThresherK: Will check it out. I was looking at some Windows 7 Lenovos so this is helpful. Keyboard is a big deal to me.

  52. 52
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    Christie may have been able to bring his weight down with Weight Watchers, but even at 190 pounds, he’d still be an asshole.

    (Full disclosure: I am a member and used to work for them.)

  53. 53
    Robert says:

    What? Traffic at Secaucus Juncture? The station that leads to NYC and all points in NJ and beyond? I’m shocked that there was traffic at Secaucus because people were using the trains. Shocked I tell you.

    Where’s my sympathy for 30 minute waits for the train to NYC during New York Comic Con or hour-plus waits for the train back to Secaucus on any weekday ever between 6-8PM?

  54. 54
    patrick II says:

    They are all lucky the weather took a warming break for a couple of days. If people would have been forced to stand outside in 0 degree weather for a couple of hours, it would have been a much more serious story.

  55. 55
    burnspbesq says:

    @Violet:

    The worst rule about getting to the stadium is that you couldn’t even walk

    Walk from where, pray tell? MetLife isn’t exactly Coors Field, six blocks from the middle of downtown.

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