MONTCLAIR, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – New Jersey Transit riders are hoping for the best Wednesday after back-to-back days of nightmare commutes full of delays and overcrowding.
Passengers say they’re growing frustrated with the transit agency’s persistent problems. Gov. Phil Murphy says he’s frustrated, too, and promises change.
Commuters in Montclair saw their morning train canceled Wednesday, the second day in a row. NJ TRANSIT officials blamed what they called equipment availability.
“It ruined my morning, because now they just canceled my train,” one man told CBS2’s Janelle Burrell.
“They’re always canceling them last minute,” said a woman.
It’s frustrating and you feel helpless, because there’s nothing we can do,” another woman added. “Fix it, I’m not getting to work on time – ever.”
“This week’s been tough,” said another woman. “We’re just sort of beholden to whatever the situation is on a day-to-day basis. So fingers crossed it gets better.”
Watch: Massive New Jersey Transit Delays At Penn Station
An aging Amtrak-operated portal bridge that crosses the Hackensack River was the culprit Tuesday night. The bridge malfunction after opening for marine traffic and would not lock into place for more than an hour. It happened not once, but twice.
“It’s been the same old routine, the same old BS. New Jersey Transit blames Amtrak, Amtrak blames New Jersey Transit,” Jim Tuzzo said.
Penn Station and Newark Penn Station were both packed with fed up riders.
“It’s a complete disaster every day,” added Seth Goldzweig.
“I don’t know what exactly is really going on. I just know I can’t get home to my babies,” Shalaia Craddock said.
The debacle came a day after a train on the Montclair-Boonton line lost power Monday, leaving commuters in the dark with no air circulating for two hours.
“You think this is acceptable to treat human beings this way?” one woman could be heard yelling on cellphone video.
Watch: Nightmare Train Commute Has Commuters Demanding Answers
CBS2’s asked Murphy about the issue Tuesday.
“There’s no excuse for that. So I don’t have a specific forensic answer to that question in terms of exactly what happened, but the notion of getting people – if there is a problem – getting them off the damn train into a safer place – particularly a place that’s moving, that’s safe – is a huge objective of ours,” he said.
“The Portal Bridge’s unreliability only continues to cost commuters their sanity, and our region real economic activity. New Jersey is more than ready to build its replacement and has more than put its skin in the game – we have committed $600 million, we have identified cost savings, and we have addressed the feedback and recommendations of the U.S. Department of Transportation. The Portal Bridge replacement is fully permitted and shovel-ready. We, and countless frustrated commuters, are now forced to sit anxiously as the Trump Administration delays in doing its share,” Murphy said in a statement Wednesday. “It is past time for the Portal Bridge to be replaced with a modern, reliable span. It is past time for the Trump Administration to fund its share so our commuters can get to work and our economy can get moving.”