Streams

Super Commuters: Nearly a Third of Super Bowl Attendees Took NJ Transit

Sunday, February 02, 2014

WNYC
Crowds at Secaucus Junction waiting to board a NJ Transit train to the Meadowlands for Super Bowl 48 (Robert Lewis)

(UPDATED FEB. 3) More than 28,000 football fans took New Jersey Transit to the Meadowlands for the Super Bowl between the Denver Broncos and Seattle’s Seahawks—and over 33,000 took the return trip.

According to a NJ Transit spokesman, that’s nearly double what the National Football League told the authority to expect for what had been touted as the first mass transit Super Bowl.

Attendance at MetLife Stadium was 82,529 meaning a third of ticket holders relied upon the train to the Meadowlands—and 40 percent took it home.

And on the way to the stadium, that meant crowded platforms, standing-room only cars and long lines to get through enhanced security. At Secaucus Junction, fans were stuck in a tight, slow-moving mass waiting to make it past metal detectors and bomb-sniffing dogs and on to the train headed for the stadium.

“I arrived here and there’s been no trains. So I’ve been here for an hour and a half," said Joe Hughes, 34, who made the trip from Australia to see the game. "So the commute hasn’t been so good.”

Despite reports that some passengers collapsed due to a combination of overcrowding and overdressing (many came prepared for cold weather), NJ Transit tweeted: "there have been no confirmed reports of fans passing out in the station." A NJ Transit spokesman said that medical attention was mainly confined to handing out bottled water.

But things were bumpier on the return trip, when fans exited the stadium in a swarm.

NJ Transit said it took two-and-a-half to three hours to load passengers onto trains after the game, and the agency ultimately pressed 20 buses into service, which brought over a thousand people to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan.

NJ Transit said it finished moving passengers around 12:40am.

The night set an all-time record for NJ Transit's MetLife service. Previously, its highest ridership to the stadium was 22,000, during a 2009 U2 concert.

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Comments [1]

JOSEPH P. WALL from PELHAM BAY, BRONX

Everybody who was involved in the planning of this year!s Super Bowl as well as the thousands of football fans who attended the game, can now thank their lucky stars Above, that the recent snowstorm that hit the New York, New Jersey area did not do so on Sunday, the day of the Super Bowl. Had that snowstorm hit on Sunday, there could have been fights and riots galore between the football fans waiting in the heavy snowstorm for train service.Somebody involved with the transportation planning of the Super Bowl dropped that ball when thousands of football fans had to wait upwards of hours on end before they were able to board their trains home. I understand that there are rumors of a light rail line stopping at or near Met Life Stadium but, you can!t build a light rail just overnight. As you probably know, much planning has to go into that light rail line before the first rail for this light rail line can be placed into the ground.I understand even Senator Chuck Shumer wants another Super Bowl at Met Life Stadium. But, before that can happen, the extra transportation links to Met Life Stadium MUST be built. And, I also understand that there are very wild rumors out there that have a Major League Baseball Stadium being built in the Medow Lands too.

Feb. 04 2014 03:22 PM

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