SECAUCUS, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — After nearly three months of NJ Transit having to cut its passenger capacity in half, full service is now back on.
CBS2’s Cory James traveled to a couple of NJ Transit stations and for the most part, people seemed to be wearing a mask or some kind of covering. But, there were a few people who didn’t and that left some passengers concerned.
“People without masks. Oh no,” said Natifah Nurse said after being shown a photo taken by a CBS2 viewer featuring passengers without masks.
In the photo, at least five people at NJ Transit’s Long Branch station are seen without face coverings.
“Why are they not wearing no mask,” said Nurse. “It’s just like, you see everywhere else the rate is going up. Why would we want that here?”
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At Penn Station in Newark, many riders seemed to be honoring the agency’s mask wearing directive. But, there were others who went without any covering at all.
“I have not see anybody telling anybody to put any kind of facial coverings on, outside of the announcements that were made on the trains,” said Alana Alston.
Alston said on top of that, she felt her train had too many people on board.
“Literally, there were people on top of each other,” said Alston. “I felt like a sardine in a can.”
NJ Transit spokeswoman Nancy Synder told CBS2 that employees are doing everything they can to slow the spread of COVID-19 and enforce mask wearing.
“In the rare cases where this happens and customers are not wearing their masks, our frontline professionals remind our customers to wear their masks. If there is a failure to comply, police assistance can be called in,” said Synder.
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NJ Transit says full service includes about 700 trains and 2,000 buses operating. It’s unclear how many were running on Monday, but the spokeswoman told CBS2 she will keep a close eye on the the numbers and the mask issues.
Those reminders are something Camilo Patino says he saw on his train from Elizabeth, N.J.
“They won’t beat them down with it, but they’ll be like ‘Do you have one? Can you put it on?'” said Patino. “And for the most part there won’t be much resistance.”
Meanwhile, Gov. Phil Murphy said hearing of NJ Transit riders not wearing masks concerns him.
“As a general matter, that is not a happy reality,” said Murphy. “We need folks without question to be masked up inside and that includes NJ Transit.”
And passengers hope commuters will get on the same page before changes are made impacting travel.