Just Train Bad

Aside from a doctor’s office and the Division of Motor Vehicles, name one other type of business that cares less about your time than the average commuter train? And name one that does less to explain or apologize for said delays?

I happen to commute on New Jersey Transit, which routinely runs into delays, breakdowns, "service Njtransit interruptions," etc. While some of these issues are unavoidable, what is avoidable is the way they handle the inconvenience. Rather than provide riders with regular updates on the problem du jour, NJT’s crack conductors choose, instead, a code of silence, sometimes literally leaving you in the dark.

All of this wouldn’t be so onerous if the trains didn’t routinely play pre-recorded messages thanking riders for their patronage and wishing them a happy day. Nor would it hurt so much if NJT didn’t continually hike their monthly transportation rates or run happy-looking print advertisements with happy-looking commuters.

Sadly, as is the case with doctors and DMV employees, we’re stuck with the poor performance/poor communication mantra of NJT. But, in a quest for accuracy in advertising, I would suggest they change whatever their current tagline may be to something that’s both memorable and accurate…."New Jersey Transit: just train bad.

2 thoughts on “Just Train Bad

  1. As a recent transplant from the NY metro area to the San Fran bay area, I can both feel your pain and tell you that it could and should be so much better based on what I’m now experiencing on the West Coast. This morning, my train was late arriving into SF, which in itself was unusual. The conductor apologized profusely for the delay, which was due to a train breaking down in front of us. We knew exactly how late we would be and what was behind it. This is a far cry from the NJT experience that RepMan so eloquently described. I can’t understand why NJT can’t do better.

  2. I feel your pain RepMan. As a rider of Metro-North, I am frequently subjected to delays, cars with no heat or air conditioning, cars that leak and sometimes, simply no cars at all. But to add insult to injury, the riders of public transportation have become just as rude as those that run the trains. I recently had my second child. There were countless times while I was pregnant when I was elbowed and shoved trying to board the train and, even worse, had to walk through multiple train cars just to find a seat.