Monday, November 12, 2012
Transportation to and from Manhattan and New Jersey is coming back to life after Hurricane Sandy, but New Jersey Transit still hasn't figured out how to communicate. Take last night. At 10 pm after many commuters had gone to bed, NJ Transit sent out an alert that it was restoring limited service on our train line. It did provide a schedule. Wonderful, we thought. We'll take the early train to avoid the crowds. We got to the station at 5:55 am for the 6 am train and there were three NJ Transit employees there to answer questions. They verified that limited service had been started. Well and good. Then an announcement came over the station speaker that the 5:40a train that should have passed through was now 40 minutes late. OK. We thought we would wait for it. Then another announcement came over the speaker. The 5:40a was now 70 minutes late. We gave up and drove to Newark, NJ where Northeast Corridor trains are running and are on time. On the way there, still another alert. NJ Transit was suspending service on the Morris/Essex line. In other words, before the service started, it was stopped. Now one could argue that NJ Transit did communicate through its alerts, but it waited until the last minute and discovered it wasn't ready. It would have been better had they taken another day and determined they actually could run trains. The result is ticked off commuters again. Not only did the service fail to communicate during and after the storm, but when it tried, it couldn't get its information right. That's lousy PR.