Train, bus riders brace for NJ Transit rail strike
With three days left before a possible NJ Transit rail strike, commuters who take trains and buses to work are making alternate plans and grumbling about what they may be facing next week.
Traffic experts have predicted commuting times may double or even triple if workers walk off the job.
“I have no idea what’s going to happen, I don’t have a car and I can’t stand the bus,” said Linda from East Brunswick. “I have no other way to commute I only use NJ Transit, so who knows what I’m going to do.”
Another central Jersey rail rider said “buses are only going to be able accommodate one-third of passengers, so people are going to be scrambling, probably going to be looking for people to stay with. Hopefully the strike won’t last long, hopefully they’ll be able to take care of it and be able to get everybody back to work.”
A nearby commuter agreed, saying he's hoping a strike can be averted.
“It would very seriously cramp my style, the buses would take too long,” he said. “I’m hoping they won’t have a strike, they’ll reach some kind of conclusion.”
Another man voiced disgust at the situation, pointing out “the trains are late, they’re filthy, it’s a Third World transit system, there shouldn’t be a strike.”
He added “I think a lot of people are just going to work from home, I think they’ll make some sort of agreement with their employer and figure out a way around it, cause nobody is going to commute on a bus for three hours, it’s just not going to happen.”
But that’s not what central New Jersey bus riders are saying.
Shirley from New Brunswick said if there’s a strike, more people will be driving and cramming aboard buses, so her entire life will get more difficult.
“I’d have to get up at about 5:30 a.m. to even be able to be on time anymore so I don’t know what I’m going to do for that,” she said.
Another bus rider blamed Gov. Chris Christie.
“it’s going to be terrible and I blame the governor. This should have been settled years ago,” the commuter said.
Harry from Cranbury said he’s getting ready for the worst possible scenario.
“Three hours coming home on a bus on a rainy night, it’s not unusual, so I’ll be carrying headphones, an iPhone, a book, you know, whatever,” he said.
One woman chimed in saying “it certainly strikes me as a major inconvenience, so possibly I may take a vacation next week.”
Another bus commuter said “that’s going to be a nightmare, people are going to be inconvenienced, it’s going to be a hassle. Whoa, that’s all I can say.”
George from East Brunswick added “it could definitely be a problem, I mean this bus gets really crowded as it is, without the strike so I don’t know how it’s going to be, but it’s not going to be pretty. An extra 4 hours out of the day is a lot of time, they’ve got to work these things out.”