At Super Bowl, Jersey’s Transit System Overwhelmed
This might not help Philly’s hopes to host a Super Bowl. New Jersey Transit had issues getting people to and from the stadium by train—especially after the game had concluded:
The issues continued after the game, when the fans who arrived via NJ Transit attempted to return home. NJ.com reported that some fans spent “hours” attempting to leave MetLife Stadium.
“You can get out of any stadium in 45 minutes to an hour. We are at three hours just to get here,” Terry Thon, of Denver, told NJ.com, of the waits to get to the train station at MetLife Stadium. “Ahead of him was another 45-minute wait to get on his next train, he said.”
About four hours before Sunday’s Super Bowlkickoff, fans of all jersey colors appeared to achieve a moment of angry unity while stuck inside a Secaucus, N.J., rail station. The air was stale, the heat had become blistering, and the ordeal was going on and on, approaching an hour. “A.C.! A.C.!” the fans shouted in a plea for cooler conditions as they strained to get a little closer to the connecting trains to MetLife Stadium.
“Welcome to New Jersey,” a police officer said as foot traffic ground to a standstill yet again. He was kidding, sort of.
One of the biggest blowouts in Super Bowl history was capped by one of the biggest blunders in regional transit history.
Overwhelmed by a record number of riders, NJ Transit kept fans waiting after the game for hours for shuttle trains from MetLife Stadium.
“Worst train system ever,” fumed Steve Snorsky, 45, of Seattle, whose joy was drained by enormous lines of people waiting for shuttle trains to Secaucus Junction.
A spokesman for NJ Transit told USA TODAY Sports that the NFL estimated that 12,000 to 15,000 people would take New Jersey trains to the game. By 4:30 p.m. ET, about two hours before kickoff, the actual number was 27,000, said Bill Smith, spokesman for NJ Transit. Smith said the previous record was 22,000 for a U2 concert in 2009.
Smith cited another reason for passenger delays before the game. He said a number of trains arrived simultaneously at the same time security agents started screening passenger baggage. This delayed passengers from deboarding at the station, he said.
“We believe that the earlier bottlenecking was caused by the simultaneous arrival of trains,” Smith said.