NJ Transit warns fans of long lines after Rolling Stones concerts
NJ Transit is warning of potentially long waits following the upcoming two Rolling Stones concerts at MetLife stadium, the first of which is Thursday night. The second is Monday, August 5.
The agency, which is contractually obligated to provide rail service to the Meadowlands during events which have a potential audience of 50,000 still is dealing with backlash over long waits in the rain after Wrestlemania in April, and is tempering the expectations of Stones fans.
The Stones "No Filter" concert tour was postponed from after Mick Jagger had heart surgery. The MetLife shows were originally scheduled for June 13 and 17.
7,500 passengers can be transported per hour between the Meadowlands and Secaucus, according to NJ Transit. From there, riders can connect to the Northeast Corridor or other lines.
"The closer you are to the front of the line following the concert, the shorter the wait time for a train to Secaucus. Depending on the number of customers traveling by rail, and where you are on the line to board, some customers may be subject to wait times of up to two hours or more to board trains from MetLife Stadium to Secaucus," the railroad said in a statement.
The agency will rely heavily on rail service to transport concert goers especially for the trips back to Secaucus when they will be available on as "as needed" basis.
For both concerts:
- Trains will begin service from Secaucus to the Meadowlands starting at 5:30 p.m. and then every 10-15 minutes with the last departure at 8:30 p.m.
- Hourly train service from the Meadowlands will begin at 6 p.m. and run through 11 p.m. Following the concert trains will operate every 10 minutes until the crowds dissipate on a load-and-go basis, and then every 15 to 20 minutes as needed until 1:00 a.m
- Bus service to MetLife starts at 3:30 p.m until the rail service begins.
- Buses will will be on stand-by to accommodate customers as a supplement to rail service if necessary.
Train service went smoothly for the subsequent BTS and Summer Jam concerts but it may have come at a price.
James Brown, general chairman of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, accused NJ Transit for going around union rules by offering individual train engineers extra pay to work the BTS concert. Brown said the agency would not discuss the matter which led members to follow his decision to not work extra, optional shifts.
As a result NJ Transit's weekend service suffered with 44 trains canceled the weekend of June 22 and an unusually high number of cancellations in subsequent weeks because of "engineer availability."
Brown has declined to comment further. NJ Transit said in a statement it "adheres to the contract, and in that Collective Bargaining Agreement, there is a formal process in place to resolve disputes."
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