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NJ Senator Slams NJ Transit Over Super Bowl Commuter ‘Fiasco’

Senator Gordon to hold legislative oversight hearing on ‘repeated failures’ by NJ Transit.

State Sen. Bob Gordon / File photo
State Sen. Bob Gordon / File photo

The head of the NJ Senate Legislative Oversight Committee wants to look into an apparent “breakdown of operations” that left thousands of NJ Transit riders stranded in East Rutherford following Sunday’s Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium.

State Sen. Bob Gordon (D-Bergen/Passaic) said Thursday that he would convene a hearing to investigate NJ Transit’s "repeated failures."

"The Super Bowl was the largest sporting event ever hosted in New Jersey and reliability of mass transit was critical... thousands of fans were stranded at MetLife stadium for hours before they were able to board trains. The problems were widespread and preventable," Gordon said. "This follows millions of dollars in avoidable damage to rail cars from flooding during Superstorm Sandy and website outages that left transit riders unable to access schedules during a major snowstorm."

According to the state senator, NJ Transit has demonstrated a consistent pattern of failure in planning for major events, including inclement and a long-planned sporting event such as Super Bowl XLVIII. 

“This raises serious questions about managerial control within the organization and the overall stability of its operations," said Gordon, adding that the committee would seek information from the agency to determine why NJ Transit has shown a “complete inability to plan and respond to the needs of transit riders, and what steps are needed to improve the agency. 

“We cannot allow another incident to occur that compromises the reliability of a critical mass transit system in the region and places the safety of commuters at risk.”

Gordon said he’s seeking documents from NJ Transit in advance of the hearing “to include a full accounting of the actions NJ Transit took in preparing for each of these events, the actions it took to respond and the cost in tax dollars and productivity that was lost.” 

The hearing is expected to take place in March. 

The committee will also examine website outages that occurred during a recent snowstorm and caused confusion among transit riders, and the failure of the agency to properly prepare for and respond to Hurricane Sandy, according to a statement distributed Thursday.

NJ Transit declined comment on Thursday afternoon.

Mike Hamilton February 06, 2014 at 06:05 PM
senator .....its just like the fiasco in the senate so control what you can control
Joe videodummy February 06, 2014 at 10:46 PM
Bob is another example of a moral crusader. Before he starts TransitGate let me explain. On Sunday morning only about 2/3's of the seats for the bowl were sold. NJT confirmed this and put enough trains in service to provide rides for those reservations. But between the late morning and moments prior to kick-off an additional 1/3 ( approximately 17,000 ) more tickets were sold leaving NJT without enough trains to service the patrons. The Democrats could do what Bruce Springsteen used to do, and that's to buy all the tickets for the show- making it an instant sell-out, then sell the tickets for the "sold out" show at an inflated price and keep the profits for themselves.
Stephanie February 07, 2014 at 07:55 AM
I like that commuters are stranded on a weekly, if not daily basis, when riding NJ Transit, but because of the Super Bowl they decide it's necessary to look into. Commuters spend hundreds of dollars a month and deal with similar circumstances, out of towners can suck it up for a day or perhaps actually hold the event in NYC like a lot of the advertisements stated.
SMFlatow February 07, 2014 at 09:18 AM
Another publicity seeking hound. Our state legislature is dysfunctional and he's worried about NJT not being prepared for the Super Bowl, oh excuse me, the Big Game? We taxpayers have lost a fortune due to the free ride that the NFL received. Who paid for the 400 troopers and the attack helicopters parked at Essex County Airport, and who is going to make up for the lost sales tax receipts. It's an embarrassment.
Bob February 07, 2014 at 09:27 AM
It is amazing that what I call "my daily standing room only commute" on NJT is now subject to scrutiny because people were delayed leaving a football game. NJT is run by fools, they have gotten steadily worse over the last 5 years (accelerating in the last 2) while raising fares and cutting service. Nothing will change because NJT does not really care.
great1baby February 07, 2014 at 03:36 PM
NJT has no Competition - until they do they will not CHANGE! Thats the key...We call this Political Posturing
Roll Back Our Tax February 08, 2014 at 06:07 PM
NJ sucks. Glad I left the state last year. Bunch of Communists!
Keith Kaplan February 08, 2014 at 06:56 PM
So, the same incompetence that NJ commuters get all the time, suddenly affects our "reputation" and you're all over it?

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