SECAUCUS, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – NJ TRANSIT riders can certainly commiserate with PATH riders Thursday about frustrating commutes.
There is some good news for NJ TRANSIT riders though: no fare hikes.
Gov. Phil Murphy made the announcement Thursday, adding he’s signing off on $50 million in more funding for the next budget.
Commuters say it all sounds great, but they still deal consistently with delayed or cancelled trains and buses. A problem CBS2 took right to the governor.
“I took the 32-40 from Red Bank to Secaucus Junction today, it was on time, it was a wonderful experience,” Gov. Murphy claimed.
Commuters say he should see what it’s like continuing the trip into New York City.
“You transfer in Secaucus and then you wait… I don’t know what I’m waiting for… a train to show up and take me somewhere… and then you get delayed into Penn,” Rachel Meltzer explained.
“The most horrible service, can we call it service?”
But the governor says progress has already been made this year, compared to last, including:
- 47-percent decrease in cancellations
- Up to 5 percent more on time trains
- 500 new bus drivers
- 100 new train engineers entering the workforce in the Fall
“So is it fair to say by December, riders can expect to see less cancellations, less delays thanks to the new class?” CBS2’s Lisa Rozner asked Murphy.
“They’re already seeing it you have to look at the data it’s already happening. You’ll see a quantum increase I think by the fourth quarter of this year,” Murphy replied.
“You still… you can’t trust it… I’ll believe it when I see it,” commuter Nathalie Maio argued.
Commuters complain it’s not just the rail service, but the rail stations. In Secaucus, there are constantly broken escalators.
CBS2 showed NJ TRANSIT executive director Kevin Corbett pictures of the broken escalators.
“When can we expect to see these escalators working?” Rozner asked.
“You’ll see it varies from escalator to escalator depending on the condition. Some need a complete overhaul, some need to be replaced, but we now have the funding to replace them and not put band aids on band aids,” Corbett replied.
Riders are optimistic, but are not holding their breath. CBS2 asked the governor how the Port Authority’s toll hike will benefit those who take mass transit.
Gov. Murphy said he’s “convinced” it’ll mean a better Port Authority Bus Terminal and improved experience on the PATH and at Newark Airport.