Monday, February 03, 2014

Yah They Screwed It All Up

So people were stranded at the Superbowl because too many people wanted to take the train home and they were way above capacity. From what I can glean from various sources (I think true, some inconsistencies in reports):

  • Expected rail travelers were about 40% of actual rail travelers.
  • There were just 13,000 very expensive parking spaces.
  • No dropoffs (or pickups) were allowed.  You could not take a (dropoff) cab, limo, or be dropped off by a friend.
  • The special charter coach buses which seemed to have been the expected favored travel mode of choice cost about 50 bucks, roughly 5 times the rail fare.
  • Even after seeing the massively inflated inbound rail traffic, NJT didn't jump to schedule any buses in order to deal with the obvious "all at once" problem of fans leaving the game
  • Not until 3+ hours later did extra buses finally arrive.   Remember this is a Sunday, so Sunday transit schedules would have meant that there were certainly available buses and potentially available bus drivers as Sunday schedules have many fewer scheduled trips.
My basic questions:

  • Just who was making these decisions?  I'm guessing lots of people who have never been on a rail platform.
  • Was NJT "discouraged" from providing buses, either at all or just in case for overflow,  so as not to compete with the $50 round trip (!) coach buses (this is a 9 mile trip from Midtown).  This is roughly equivalent to what a cab fare would be (in ideal traffic circumstances), except you can split a cab fare between 4 people
  • Who made the money from the coach buses?
  • Why was rail traffic so underestimated and, similarly, why was coach bus demand so overestimated?
  • *update: buses sold out, bus demand wasn't overestimated, they just didn't have enough buses*