Super Bowl XLVIII’s Biggest Loser: New Jersey Transit

One name that definitely didn’t get any good press last night: New Jersey Transit.

Most who regularly commute to the city know the horrors of Penn Station at rush hour. We like to call it a Seventh Circle filled with exhausted professionals boarding standing-room only trains, desperate to return to the relative calm of the suburbs.

Yesterday the service shattered previous records as more than 30,000 people used the system. Most of them did not have a good experience, with delays of up to 90 minutes inspiring many social media complaints and even more creative curse words. Several fans collapsed. We’ll let the riders themselves tell you more:

This morning Gawker and other outlets collected some of the most horrific images—and they’ll make you thankful that you weren’t anywhere near MetLife stadium last night.

Ouch. At a press event this morning, NFL exec Eric Grubman tried to downplay the mayhem by basically blaming it on the riders:

“People left Penn Station much earlier than they needed to, so you had a queue forming that filled up the lobby of Secaucus.

What I believe happened is a lot of people didn’t make up their minds until the last minute as to how they were going to get there.”

You don’t say.

“So what happened is perhaps fewer people took the bus than was anticipated and more people took New Jersey Transit. So quickly, you get an extra 10,000 people. A good lesson learned for all of us.”

Clarity! To its credit, Jersey Transit’s Twitter account did respond to complaints while trying to reassure the public that it was doing the best it could (and spinning the news a bit):

That’s technically true.

For once, we feel bad for Chris Christie: this is one transportation scandal that wasn’t his fault.

[Pic via John O’Boyle/The New Jersey Star-Ledger]