The Glorious Beast That Is NJ Transit

Anyone who is easily disturbed by the sounds of people smacking their lips when they eat, screaming babies, and overly loud conversations in “quiet cars” beware: NJ Transit is host to all.

…from joyful to irritated in minutes! Image courtesy of You Don’t Know New Jersey.

Its no surprise that public transit lines suffer from similar problems: In theory you get the same unpleasant company in any public transportation services anywhere and anytime, and for seemingly no good reason. But what is so special about NJ Transit that led to the creation of a ‘parody bot’ on twitter?

(that’s @njt_bot for those keeping score at home)

Why is there an entire website dedicated to ‘rating’ NJ Transit whose tagline declares: “NJ Transit Sucks! Share your tales and opinions with us” ?

Why is the ‘parody bot’ constantly littered with vehement tweets about NJ Transit?

One reason cited by submitters to the Rate NJ Transit site is the employees. On user accuses an employee of being a “meat head” and having wrongfully ejected him from a train. In most of my dealings with NJ Transit, I haven’t had any issues with employees. In fact, most dealings I have had have been pleasant.

I decided to look at all tweets with hashtag #NJtransit to see if any of these had different opinions. I found a few that seemed to share similar gripes:

@rdgravener: Left work early to get on an express that was turned into a local. #NJTransit #NEC. Chris Christie, have another.

“@renaekaslovsky: Hit me with your parasol again, please. That felt awesome against my head. #Njtransit

“@TFHackett: See now if I had a smartphone you’d see video of the near brawl just now between a bus passenger and a lady dispatcher. But no. #NJTransit

See, now these are gripes I can relate to. In my experience of commuting from both Hamilton and Princeton Junction, I’ve become accustomed to 3 universal annoyances on NJ Transit both in and out of the city, all of which are created not by NJT itself, but from rude customers:

  1. Men in suits with briefcases for no apparent reason deem themselves demigods: every time I have been rudely whacked with a briefcase, it has been on NJ Transit,  and usually with one with sharp corners.
  2. There is no such thing as a “quiet car”: No matter what ridiculous conversation your neighbor is having, it is so dire that they feel the need to scream it loud enough for the entire car to hear.
  3. There is no such thing as table manners: my biggest pet peeve on this earth is people chewing with their mouth open. When anyone eats near me on NJ Transit, somehow they all seem to not know how to eat and keep their mouth closed. Ever.

Have a NJT horror story? Post it in the comments.

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One thought on “The Glorious Beast That Is NJ Transit

  1. Perhaps the problem is that many NJ transit riders do not understand the meaning of the word quiet. So perhaps a trip to dictionary.com prior to riding the train might help:
    QUIET
    pronouned:    [kwahy-it]

    definitions:
    1.making no noise or sound, especially no disturbing sound: quiet neighbors.
    2.free, or comparatively free, from noise: a quiet street.
    3.silent: Be quiet!
    4.restrained in speech, manner, etc.; saying little: a quiet person.
    5.free from disturbance or tumult; tranquil; peaceful: a quiet life.

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