NJ Transit commuters express frustration over constant delays, cancelations

Janice Yu Image
Tuesday, April 16, 2024
Commuter frustrations linger after NJ Transit service disruptions
Janice Yu has more on the commuter reaction to NJ Transit's service disruptions on Monday.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Delays and cancelations are at the heart of frustrations for commuters who rely on New Jersey Transit - so what can be done to make the system more reliable?

Passengers say NJ Transit delays happen far too frequently for people trying to get home after a long day at work. Such was the case Monday night.

"The lack of care and urgency to solve a problem and the disregard for the effects of it is just unacceptable," said Emily Gfroehrer, who was impacted by the NJ Transit delay on Monday.

Gfroehrer's and her fiancé Liam Fennecken's NJ Transit train ride from Hamilton, New Jersey to Penn Station should have taken two hours tops.

"It ended up being 11... 10 hours on the train," Fennecken said. "Twelve if you count us getting back home."

They were among thousands who faced delays and cancelations as rail service between New York and Trenton was suspended for several hours. The problem was overhead wire issues, according to NJ Transit.

Patience wore thin as some chose to get off the trains altogether.

Monday's issues were extreme, but NJ Transit users say they know to expect service delays, in general.

"I do plan for it. So when I go, I always give myself an hour for whatever might happen on NJ Transit," said commuter Jesse Addy.

"Single lights are always out. Late, dirty, canceled, on standby. Everything. You can't depend on them," said commuter John Cunningham.

The frustration is only mounting as the NJ Transit Board approved a 15% fare increase that's set to go into effect in July.

"15% is not a small number, especially when you're already paying $20," Fennecken said.

Jaqi Cohen works for a non-profit dedicated to improving public transportation throughout the Tri-State area. She says changes need to be made to make sure NJ Transit is more dependable for those who rely on it.

"We want to see New Jersey invest in transit the same way that New York invests in the MTA and that other states invest in their public transit services," Cohen said. "New Jersey is one of the only states in the country with a transit agency of its size that has no dedicated funding for transit. It's up to the budget whims of the legislature and the governor every year to decide what the budget will be that year for New Jersey Transit."


* Get Eyewitness News Delivered

* More New Jersey news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube

Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News

Have a breaking news tip or an idea for a story we should cover? Send it to Eyewitness News using the form below. If attaching a video or photo, terms of use apply.