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NJ Transit Jeopardizes Employee & Passenger Safety to Maintain On-Time Performance

In Uncategorized on January 9, 2009 at 4:27 pm

The Fly has learned that NJ Transit’s Rail Operations Division routinely jeopardizes employee and passenger safety by keeping trains moving despite the existence of on-board medical emergencies or unruly passengers.

Trains are not halted at the closest station stop because NJ Transit does not want to block tracks and prevent any following trains from continuing on schedule. Instead, NJ Transit train dispatchers are instructed to route trains requesting police or emergency medical (EMS) personnel response to the nearest station with “passing track” capability.

The Ridgewood station has a passing track; our police and EMS units are frequently dispatched to meet trains with unruly passengers, or those with persons requiring emergency medical assistance.

One such incident happened on the evening of Thursday, January 8th, at approximately 8:18 PM, when four (4) Ridgewood police officers were dispatched to meet NJ Transit Train #65, for assistance in removing two (2) unruly passengers from the train.

Train #65 (express from Secaucus Junction to Suffern) left Hoboken at 7:57 PM with a Secaucus Junction station stop recorded at 8:07 PM. Two (2) passengers became unruly near the Rutherford station. The train crew was instructed to continue operating the train through to Ridgewood’s passing track, where they would be met by uniformed Ridgewood PD and NJ Transit PD officers.

Why wasn’t the train stopped at the station just beyond Rutherford? What if the two (2) unruly passengers had been armed and began using their weapons in Rutherford? If a passenger had collapsed with a heart attack in Rutherford, would NJ Transit have also continued the train up to Ridgewood?

The Fly believes NJ Transit must place the goal of passenger and employee safety ahead of on-time performance.

IdentityTruth Inc.

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  1. Hi PJ, I have been riding the train for 25 years and I can promise you NJ Transit is not worried about maintaining on time performance, particularly at the expense of passenger safety. 9 out of 10 times these incidents are simply that the passenger does not have a ticket and can’t (or refuses) to pay. The conductors treat each incident as they judge they need to. I have been on trains where somebody is sick or drunk and threatening and in those cases they stop ASAP and get police immediately. In some cases I would think it might be faster to run the train to Ridgewood and get them to Valley rather than keep it three or four stops away and wait for the ambulance to get to Fair Lawn or something. I think the conductors make the right decisions.

  2. What does this have to do Ridgewood?

    NJT is a state agency. Complain there.

    Stop listening to scanners.

  3. 252 ridewood has both a train and bus station ps. please re read the pst over and over till you get it ….

  4. I have had experience over the years with NJ transit ,I have found the train crews to be for the most part excellent .It would not supprise me if this is agency policy but the crews always put safety and the pasangers first

  5. oh boy…it’s not enough to complain about every Village service, now we have to blog complaints about state services too???

    is there *anything* The Fly does like?

  6. i used to see conductors stop the train and toss non fare paying scammers right out in the swamps of secaucus.

    now with 50% contingency fee tort lawyers legally extorting our state, they have to play it by the book and do.

  7. Can we please get some verification behind “the fly’s” report. Is this NJ Transit story even true? If so, why haven’t real news sources reported on it? Who is the fly anyway? Is this some anonymous alter-ego that the blog owner hides behind?

  8. “Who is the fly anyway?”

    The Fly on the Wall could be you.

  9. I suess it’s very safe to all to stop the train on the spot and have a brawl in the middle of the rail road tracks. I just can’t quite see the logic in the fly’s thinking.

  10. 5:46 PM asks: “Can we please get some verification behind “the fly’s” report. Is this NJ Transit story even true?” Okay – I was on the train, it happened. The Conductors tried to deal with the two problem people. I have seen them do this before and end problems without the cops. But, in this case they could not, the couple just would not listen to reason and were complete idiots. Could the train have stopped sooner? I guess so, but I did not see anyone put in danger because it waited until Ridgewood.

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