Editorial: Rancid Transit

If the Super Bowl never returns to the New York-New Jersey region, don’t blame it on the weather. The gods of pigskin made sure that the game was played on the only decent day we’ve had in weeks.

It’s too bad that New Jersey Transit spoiled the occasion for the 30,000 or so fans who took public transportation to the game, as they were all but commanded to do. As Vice President Joe Biden might have said had he been trapped for hours waiting for a train, the Meadowlands sports complex resembled a third-world country for hours after the game.

Why? Apparently, after months of telling fans they’d have to take public transportation, N.J. Transit officials were somehow surprised that so many fans decided to avail themselves of the agency’s services.

Bear in mind that the same organization, under the same leadership, was equally surprised to learn that it is a bad idea to store equipment in marshlands during a storm-of-the-century weather event. The result: more than $120 million in damages to N.J. Transit trains thanks to Superstorm Sandy.

Governor Chris Christie excused away N.J. Transit’s failures after Sandy and did so again in the aftermath of the Super Bowl. Did he bother to examine pictures of the dangerous crush of people waiting for trains after the game?

This year’s big game was advertised as the first mass-transit Super Bowl, in addition to being the first played outdoors in a cold-weather location.

Good luck prevented weather from becoming an issue. But N.J. Transit’s incompetence marred the experience for thousands of fans who heeded the agency’s pleas to take mass transit—because, you know, it’s more convenient. 

Will anybody be held to account for this fiasco?