WOODBRIDGE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Another New Jersey Transit nightmare is unfolding as riders at one of the busiest stations say forget delays, they can’t even get off the train.
A closed stairwell is creating a safety hazard and it comes the same day the New Jersey’s governor announced results of an audit to “improve” the agency.
People are literally running off trains that pull into the busy Metropark Station to avoid hundreds of passengers all trying to get down one stairwell at once.
The line to leave dangerously extending onto the active platform.
“It’s such a hazard, it’s pandemonium, it’s not safe!” Steven Katz of Old Bridge told CBS2’s Lisa Rozner.
“People push and shove their way down the stairs,” Linda Chiarella claimed.
“You can’t move, you have to wait 20 minutes for everybody to get off the train,” Jim Merlo added.
The other stairwell at the station has been closed since July 20 with little explanation other than it needed inspection and repairs.
“How can you need a part when it’s a cement staircase?” one commuter questioned.
There is an elevator which fits about five people, but that’s reportedly not working either.
Todd Glackin usually has to travel up the stairs and is forced to wait.
“You have to stand back where you were standing back there and just wait before you can climb the steps,” Glackin explained.
Passengers who have been witnessing the same pandemonium tweeted the agency in August and September and still no change.
The widespread dissatisfaction was addressed by Gov. Phil Murphy Tuesday, who released a 180-page audit of NJ Transit.
He recommends restructuring management and that the agency operate more like a business and less like a government agency.
“I don’t expect any good to come out of this unfortunately,” a frustrated commuter countered.
The one immediate change did take place after CBS2 witnessed the same overcrowding after a few rush hour trains pulled in – security showed up for the next train and then left.
“You know what NJ Transit’s mission statement is… ‘we go out of our way to make it inconvenient for customers,’” another furious customer taunted.
CBS2 reached out to NJ Transit who said a design for a new staircase is underway but gave no timeline for its completion.
They apologized for the most recent inconvenience, but riders told CBS2 the apology is not enough.