Former Governor Codey Jumps Into Fray, Uses Contacts To Get Sides Talking

SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Call it rail rage.

Commuters were hot under the collar Monday over changes to NJ TRANSIT’s train schedule.

But there may be a light at the end of the tunnel, CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis reported.

“It’s a miserable situation,” Fred Rosenberg said. “The change in the schedule is absolutely horrible, an extra 12-minute to my commute every day.”

It’s an NJ TRANSIT schedule change that’s put hundreds of train commuters off schedule.

“It makes absolutely no sense. I don’t know what they were thinking, but they need to really rethink this,” Dana Wade Smith said.

The problem is precious travel minutes from New York Penn are now gone during the evening rush. The popular 5:54 p.m. express train has been eliminated, pushing commuters to the later 6:19 p.m. train that makes seven stops, getting into South Orange at 7 p.m. or later.

A 25-minute commute is now 40 minutes or more, making it tough to pick up kids and keep other evening commitments.

Former New Jersey governor, now state Sen. Richard Codey heard about the changes and has joined the fight.

“There’s a limited amount of time that a commuter has when he comes home,” Codey said. “Twenty-five minutes may not seem like a heck of a lot of time when you’re commuting but it’s a heck of a lot of time.”

His voice and his contacts with NJ TRANSIT got the agency to put observers on those evening commuter trains, and representatives at a recent meeting, working on a solution.

“I can promise you we will be in close touch and others will be in touch with us,” a NJ TRANSIT representative said.

But even with the transit agency taking note, officials said with the holidays almost here, January will be the earliest anymore changes can be made.

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