Report on NJ Transit’s gridlock at Super Bowl is overdue
|By Karen Rouse, The Record (Hackensack, N.J.)|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
And added to the unresolved question of why that happened is the question of whether a consulting firm hired to predict game-day ridership provided good advice for its
In the time since the
A report on the agency's handling of Super Bowl transportation is now three months overdue.
NJ Transit's board approved the contract in
An NJ Transit spokesman,
If the lessons-learned provision applied to
"The NJ Transit board of directors is leading an independent review of NJ Transit's planning and operations related to Super Bowl XLVIII," Durso, who left the agency last month, said in a written statement about all issues related to the contract. "In light of that independent review, which is continuing, we would respectfully decline to offer any further comment regarding this at this time."
He refused to discuss how NJ Transit arrived at the 10,000-to-12,000 figure; or when the evaluation of the Super Bowl performance will be produced. It was due in March.
Among other things, the
--Conducting field observations and preparing "general recommendations for accommodating visitors and guests at Secaucus Junction,
--Developing diagrams and graphics "to address any issues or challenges with the proposed major transportation facilities."
--Performing initial risk assessment of the initial operating plan, including a list of contingency plans.
--Convening a working group of transportation officials who were involved in the planning of the
Another NJ Transit spokesman,
"The direct beneficiary of this effort is the
"I don't see how they could have done much worse if they had no outside advice," he said. But he stopped short of blaming
In its recommendation to the board before the board approved the contract, the NJ Transit staff wrote that
But for thousands of Super Bowl fans, the experience was anything but seamless. Fans heading to the game early got caught in a human traffic jam some estimated lasted 40 minutes as multiple trains unloaded passengers at Secaucus Junction – where fans had to go to transfer to
Despite those figures, the return home after the game – with most fans leaving around the same time – was worse. Fans complained on social media about being stuck on the platforms with no one providing any direction. Days after, the public and out-of-state fans said the handling of transportation was an embarrassment to the state.
Weinstein showered praise on the agency after the game, which irked riders.
However, then-state Transportation Commissioner
NJ Transit also sat out a legislative hearing on its Super Bowl performance. In that instance, the agency also cited the board's pending review as its reason to reserve comment.
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