Commentary: Morristown commuter has sunny view of ‘Summer of Hell’

A view of New York from the ferry. Photo by Courtney Woodward.
A view of New York from the ferry. Photo by Courtney Woodward.
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By Courtney Woodward

After reading the article posted yesterday, July 31, 2017, by contributor Derek Vintschger, I felt I needed to reach out and share an alternate experience with you.

While I understand the post is opinion and Mr. Vintschger’s personal experience, his assumptions present some inaccurate information to readers.

I must say I have had the opposite experience of Mr. Vintschger, having only two hiccups in the past month– and only one of which involved a delay.

I planned my commute for July and August as soon as information was available. I took updated schedules from NJ Transit agents at Morristown train station, I read the update on the website, I researched the PATH, the ferry and even the bus schedule.

Ferry slip in Hoboken. Photo by Courtney Woodward.
Ferry slip in Hoboken. Photo by Courtney Woodward.

I followed NJ Transit and PATH on Twitter, I signed up for text alerts. I had plans if I missed my train due to a long meeting at work or plans if police activity shut down the PATH or NJ Transit.

I listened to announcements twice a day if not more for a week or two before this all took effect. I certainly was not lacking information.

The first week I saw nearly as many Customer Service agents — or whatever NJ Transit calls them — as commuters at Hoboken. All answered questions, pointed people in the right direction and even walked people in the right direction.

I have never been a huge fan of NJ Transit, but I must say they did a hell of a job planning, informing people and getting everything working.

My schedule has been modified a bit. To enjoy the ferry trip, I take an earlier train, catch the ferry and walk the High Line to work. If I don’t want the scenic trip the PATH gets me to work same time as pre-July 10. The evening is pretty much the same, arriving only 10 minutes later than pre-July 10.

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My two issues? A trespasser fatality, tragic and out of anyone’s control. No fault of NJ Transit.

The second? I misunderstood the cross-honoring of monthly passes. I believed they would be honored at any stop on the Hoboken – 33rd Street Line.

They only are honored at the Hoboken and 33rd street stations. I work closer to 14th Street and find it more convenient to get on there. Why walk uptown to ride the train right back to where I left? I bought a pass for the PATH, basically free when I factor in the reduced monthly pass cost, and carried on with commuting.

Courtney Woodward, 34, lives in Morristown and works in education.  

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