Dear New Jersey Transit,
I appreciate that there was an unfortunate accident last night causing delays and cancellations at the end destinations on the Morris and Essex (M&E) line. However, I was unable to get to my station due to misinformation provided to us by your conductors. The situation was handled poorly. I would appreciate if you use this information to better prepare if a similar situation arises.
We were made aware of the problems as we pulled out of the Hoboken Station at 8:58 pm. There should have been an announcement at the Hoboken Station before we left. The Montclair/Boonton train left all of 4 minutes before the M&E train. I’ve been riding these trains for well over a year now and have been able to switch trains when problems occur; it is not uncommon to hold back a train so that passengers are able to switch trains at stations such as Hoboken and Newark. The last instance of this was only a few weeks ago at Hoboken.
We were told that anyone trying to reach Mount Tabor, Denville and Dover should exit at Newark Broad Street Station and board a Montclair/Boonton train. I was wary of this information, because the Montclair/Boonton line does not stop at my stop, Mount Tabor (it’s not on the same route.) However, due to the insistence of your conductors, I exited the train at Newark. We were told that the Montclair/Boonton train would be only 10 minutes behind our train, a minor delay given the circumstances. However, this was completely false.
The Montclair/Boonton line was not to arrive for 1 hr and 10 minutes. The train we exited was behind 2 Montclair/Boonton line trains that left 5 and 10 minutes prior to our arrival at Newark. The reported delays to the stations Dover and Denville was only 30-60 minutes according to your website. After approximately 45 minutes of waiting, we boarded the train originating from New York Penn Station at 9:58. The conductors on this train assured us we would reach Denville and Dover. Please note that my station is Mount Tabor and we did not stop at this station. The next train that would stop at Mount Tabor mostly likely would be the 10:07 from Hoboken – nearly 1 hour and twenty minutes after I exited the first train. This is double the delay specified on the NJTransit website.
In summary, the conductors of the 8:58 pm from Hoboken gave us false information. I do not know what time that train reached my destination; however I can only assume that it was within the 30 – 60 minute delay, much shorter than the additional hour and 20 minutes I experienced. This misinformation also required me to phone for assistance so that I could travel back to Mount Tabor in order to retrieve my vehicle. I did not feel comfortable walking between the stations at 11:30 pm.
Please, inform your conductors that advising people to exit one train without knowing when the next train would actually arrive is a poor business practice. I also do not appreciate being told no trains would stop at my station and that I “should get off at the next closest exit because someone died on the tracks.” I felt that this was unnecessary considering our train did make all local stops. Given the location of the accident, I don’t know why I was asked to switch trains at all.
Please let me know if this is acceptable. I'll be sending it later today. Thanks!