NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Commuters in New York and New Jersey may have found something scarier than a Halloween ghoul – having to rely on NJ Transit.
Delayed… delayed… delayed – the departure board at Penn Station showed little hope for customers using NJ Transit Tuesday night.
This time because of an issue with the Amtrak-operated Portal Bridge that crosses the Hackensack River.
It malfunctioned after it opened for marine traffic and then refused to lock back into place for more than an hour, not once, but twice Tuesday afternoon.
“Yeah something about the bridge, I don’t know really exactly what is going on, I just know I can’t get home to my babies,” commuter Shalaia Craddock said.
“It’s a complete disaster every day,” Seth Goldzweig told CBS2’s Valerie Castro. “Dinner is probably cold by the time I get home.”
NJ Transit riders were caught in the mess at both ends of the latest public transportation debacle.
“It’s been the same old routine, the same old b-s, New Jersey Transit blames Amtrak, Amtrak blames New Jersey Transit, and it’s just been too much,” commuter Jim Tuzzo explained.
The same old routine also played out Monday night, when a train on the Montclair-Boonton line lost power and left passengers mostly in the dark with no air circulating for two hours.
“You think this is acceptable to treat human beings this way?” one woman was recorded yelling at NJ transit workers.
“They’re incredible frustrated and so am I, but incidents like this drive people crazy and they drive me crazy… They were sitting there for 90 minutes and there’s no excuse for that,” Gov. Phil Murphy told CBS2’s Meg Baker.
“I don’t have a specific forensic answer… to exactly what happened, but the notion of getting people – if there is a problem – getting them off the damn train to a safer place… is a huge objective of ours.”
The governor went on to say that, right now, the embattled agency is focused on meeting a Jan. 1 federal deadline to install positive train control.
Meanwhile commuters say they have no choice but to ride on, or at least keep waiting to ride on.
“It’s frustrating, what are you going to do? I work in Midtown. I work on Wall Street so I have to come. They’ve got us by the…. ya know,” Tuzzo said.