NJ Politics Digest: WrestleMania Fans Body Slammed by NJ Transit

Folks who relied on NJ Transit to get home after the WrestleMania event Sunday at MetLife Stadium stood in the rain for hours waiting for their trains.

NJ Transit train.
NJ Transit train. Observer staff

Folks who relied on NJ Transit to get home after the WrestleMania 35 event Sunday night at MetLife Stadium found themselves standing in the rain for hours waiting for their trains.

On Monday, Gov. Murphy said the agency’s inability to keep folks informed about what was happening was unacceptable. He made another promise that NJ Transit will improve communications with commuters, according to a report in NJ.com.

But Murphy and NJ Transit officials also cast blame on WrestleMania organizers, saying that the show ran longer than expected, throwing plans to transport fans home into disarray, because federal rules limiting train crew hours meant that some crews were sent home before crowds exited the stadium, taking their trains out of service. WrestleMania organizers, however, said that, like other sports and entertainment events, they don’t set or advertise an end time, according to NJ.com.

Murphy also blamed former Gov. Chris Christie, who left office 15 months ago, saying a failure to hire engineers during Christie’s term left NJ Transit with fewer scheduling options, according to NJ101.5. While Murphy’s administration has hired more engineers, that might not help prevent commuters from suffering through a third “summer of hell” this year, because many of those engineers might decide to take the summer off, “and that’s their right,” according to a report by NJBiz.

NJ Transit officials have blamed federal rules for many of the agency’s past problems, claiming that the many delays during Murphy’s first year in office were due to efforts to meet federally mandated deadlines for installing safety equipment. That deadline was met in December.

NJ Transit’s failure to communicate effectively with riders has been an ongoing issue for the agency, and fixing it has been a promise Murphy keeps making but just can’t seem to deliver on.

Quote of the Day: “It’s completely, utterly, dog-ate-my-homework unacceptable,” — Gov. Phil Murphy, on NJ Transit’s failure to communicate with fans attending WrestleMania 35.

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NJ Politics Digest: WrestleMania Fans Body Slammed by NJ Transit