Posted February 03, 2014

Transit issues plague fans before and after Super Bowl XLVIII

Super Bowl XLVIII
Fans experienced severe delays along NJ Transit before and after Super Bowl XLVIII.

Fans experienced severe delays along NJ Transit before and after Super Bowl XLVIII. (Matt Rourke/AP)

New Jersey governor Chris Christie may have another transportation-related controversy to worry about.

Before the game, reports indicated that “several” people traveling to Sunday’s Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium collapsed while waiting at the Secaucus, N.J., train station, which was serving as the central hub for people taking mass transportation to the game. Problems also persisted after the game, with delays so bad that the announcer asked fans planning to take the train home to wait in the stadium to avoid further bottlenecks.

NJ Transit tweeted that nearly 30,000 fans rode public transportation to the game, which offered very limited parking. Bill Smith, the spokesman for NJ Transit, told USA Today that the previous record was 22,000 passengers for a U2 concert in 2009.

As early as 1 p.m. ET, some began tweeting about the lengthy wait at the small station, with estimates of one- to two-hour waits for a train.

According to AP, emergency workers had to push through to treat several people felled by overheating, as masses were overstuffed in small hallways and staircases. At times, the crowd chanted, “New Jersey, your Super Bowl sucks!”

The issues continued after the game, when the fans who arrived via NJ Transit attempted to return home. NJ.com reported that some fans spent “hours” attempting to leave MetLife Stadium.

“You can get out of any stadium in 45 minutes to an hour. We are at three hours just to get here,” Terry Thon, of Denver, told NJ.com, of the waits to get to the train station at MetLife Stadium. “Ahead of him was another 45-minute wait to get on his next train, he said.”

For what it’s worth, I myself took the train from my apartment in Hoboken, N.J., to the game, transferring at Secaucus Junction. But while it was crowded, I only had to wait 20 minutes in Secaucus before getting on the next train. It wasn’t ideal, but I hardly experienced the horror story others are reporting.

New Jersey has been sensitive in the weeks leading up to the game with virtually all of the attention being directed toward New York despite it taking place in New Jersey. After this, Christie — dealing with increasing scrutiny over his role in the George Washington Bridge traffic scandal — might regret his state asking for the extra attention.

11 comments
SuzanneBeauneir
SuzanneBeauneir

This was one of the most poorly planned events I've ever experienced. New Jersey should never have the opportunity to host a Super Bowl again. I personally saw people fainting and throwing up due to the heat and claustrophobia. I am relieved the caliber of fans was first class or there could easily have been riots and stampeding issues. Three hours each way. I am embarrassed for the coordinators of this event.

edmaster225
edmaster225

I live nearby in lyndhurst and I just wanted to get home,what a nightmare !!!,as it took me almost 3 1/2 hrs to get home,when its usually 25 mins,I told a couple of cops n secaucus officials that i was not going to the game and they basically brushed me off telling me to get on line like everybody else,,,poorly planned

jjazznola
jjazznola

I live nearby and predicted that this would happen. Usually there are way more people that drive to the stadium but media and security took up all of the spots where fans usually park. Not sure how they did not see this coming. The rain and the fact that the game was a blowout probably helped the situation after the game as fans slowly decided to leave early preventing a disaster getting onto the trains and again at Seacaucus. Overall a lousy game, poor planning, lousy SB Blvd fan experience in Times Square and lousy halftime show. Just have it in New Orleans every year and call it a day!

M20
M20

Well, that's what happens when everyone relies on mass transit to go to the Super Bowl. This isn't an issue at other Super Bowls because it's not even an option for a lot of other stadiums.

tommerj
tommerj

If it was this bad before the game with fans arriving hours before the game, it must have been horrible after the game with everybody wanting to leave right after the game.

Cool
Cool

NJOfficial :New York thinks this Super bowl is their's

Time for a lane closing.... 


Got it.


par404
par404

Why not add more trains. Cheap, cheap, cheap.

jjazznola
jjazznola

For most it was the ONLY way to get there. They should never have it there again.