What to Know
- NJ Transit trains on the Morris & Essex line were delayed nearly two hours Tuesday evening after someone was struck and killed on the tracks
- Frustrated riders trapped on the trains demanded to know why trains were allowed to leave at all or why other arrangements weren't made
- The beleaguered agency is already struggling with service disruptions as it struggles to meet the federal PTC deadline
NJ Transit trains on the Morris & Essex line experienced delays of nearly an hour and a half Tuesday as authorities responded to a trespasser death on the tracks, and frustrated commuters on stuck trains are demanding answers.
NJ Transit first tweeted at around 6:20 p.m. that trains on the Morris & Essex line were delayed up to an hour in both directions because someone was hit and killed on the tracks near Brick Church. About an hour later, the rail tweeted that delays were at 75 minutes, and that NJ Transit buses were cross-honoring.
But that didn't appease riders stuck either on trains or at stations. One News 4 New York viewer wrote in an email, "We are trapped on an NJ Transit train that left NY Penn at 5:39 p.m.... they have now held our train between stations for hours. They refuse to move forward or backwards to let us off. People are trying to open the doors to climb out onto the tracks."
Customers were unleashing their fury at NJ Transit on Twitter, too, replying to the agency's latest tweet about the delays with frustration.
"You need to create back up plans for incidents like this, instead of just allowing trains to sit here, create a system where all trains can get to a station and then provide buses," wrote one rider.
"This incident happened way before the 6:56 Dover bound train was set to leave. Why did you allow the train to leave Penn Station without properly informing your customers? Such poor decision making on @NJTRANSIT. What a waste of everyone’s time," fumed another woman.
"At least bring the stuck trains to the closest stations so people can get on with their lives and make alternate arrangements!" a customer wrote.
"How long do passengers have to sit on a train before you have a plan to get them off? Been stuck between NY Penn and Newark for almost 2 hours," tweeted Sarah Silverstein.
"There's pregnant women on the train!!! with disgusting and unusable bathrooms. What are you doing with my money every month!!!!! #njtransitsucks"
NJ Transit said by 8:30 p.m. that trains were starting to roll again. The agency says there's no set time to deal with a trespasser strike, and that the response can depend on several factors, like when the medical examiner shows up, how long police need to investigate and other sensitive factors.