SECAUCUS, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — It’s an inconvenience that has lasted too long for some New Jersey commuters: broken escalators at a busy train station.

An NJ TRANSIT escalator at Secaucus Junction has been broken for months, sending people climbing about four flights of stairs, CBS2’s Meg Baker reported.

“You have to run up and down them,” one rider said. “It’s ridiculous. People are getting hurt.”

“You never see progess,” said another man. “It looks the same all the time.”

It’s been so long that a Twitter handle has been created for the four nonfunctioning escalators.

“The big joke is, when is it ever going to be fixed?” another commuter said.

Baker took her camera into the herd and counted 44 stairs.

She spoke to people who say they only have a matter of minutes to make it to their connecting train, so running up the stairs can get quite aggressive.

“It’s really inconvenient because I only have two minutes to make it to my connection train when I get home … and sometimes I can’t make it,” one woman said.

Two maintenance workers were on the scene Wednesday. They referred to CBS2 to NJ TRANSIT customer service to get answers.

“We’re still in the process of getting estimates and stuff like that,” a customer service representative told Baker.

Escalator expert Patrick Carr said normally parts would be held in stock for a quicker fix.

“It seems abnormal,” Carr said. “You can definitely steal parts from one and put it on another if you had to, at least to get one or two running. Because even if you had one running, at least in the morning you’d have it running down (and) in the evening running up, so that you could be able to get people in and out of the station.”

The escalators suffered significant damage from a fire in November and from the water used to extinguish the fire.

NJ TRANSIT said the parts come for overseas manufacturers and there was a lengthy insurance review.

“It was important for us to work through the insurance process to secure the best interests of our customers and taxpayers,” NJ TRANSIT said in a statement.

The agency, which is expected to raise fares 9 percent next year, did not have a time frame for the repairs.


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