NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNEwYork) — Frustrated NJ TRANSIT commuters have launched a social media campaign dubbed “No Pay May.”
As CBS2’s Erin Logan reported, they are urging riders to try and use their April monthly passes in May as a form of protest.
The #NoPayMay campaign was started on Twitter by riders who say they’ve had enough of being inconvenienced — they’re late to work, late home from work, you name it.
They said the least they are owed is a free month.
Regular NJ TRANSIT commuters all said Sunday night said that their commutes in April were unpleasant. Commuter Andy Berta called the commute “hectic,” Bruce Gillespie called it “horrible,” and Andrha Gomez, “hellish.”
Now, many commuters on NJ TRANSIT said they deserve a break — a free month. The “No Pay May” campaign is expected to kick off during the morning commute on Monday, which is May 1.
“Actually, a year — that would be better,” Gillespie said.
Since late March, they have been dealing with derailments, delays, stalled trains, and even mass chaos and a stampede one day — when Amtrak police used a Taser on someone and people thought shots had been fired in Penn Station.
“Everyone was running,” Gomez said. “Everyone was on top of each other.”
The disruptions are far from over.
On Thursday, Amtrak chief executive officer Charles “Wick” Moorman told New Jersey lawmakers there will be more delays and even outages in the summertime. That is when aging equipment at Penn Station will be repaired.
Amtrak owns all the tracks at Penn Station.
Moorman said there will be delays during the weekdays, and full outages on weekends. But there was no mention of when this will happen and which lines will be affected.
“I’m originally from Seattle. I’ve been here five years,” Berta said. “Seattle is doing a lot better.”
So now that they voiced their frustrations, are the commuters going to pay up to board the train?
“I’m probably going to take a cab,” Berta said.
“Not pay if everybody else is not paying, I won’t pay,” Gillespie said. But he went on, “No, I’m going to pay because I don’t want to go to jail.”
“No, I’m going to pay, unfortunately, but I support everyone who doesn’t,” Gomez said.
All of the people who spoke to CBS2 Sunday night said they support those who decide not to buy their May monthly pass and flash their April pass. But with extra police in and around Penn Station, they are a little worried.