Who could have predicted forcing thousands of people onto trains to go three miles would be an epic clusterfuck? Well, maybe they can blame Chris Christie.
Super Bowl fans at MetLife Stadium faced long delays and overcrowded trains as some spent hours attempting to leave the Meadowlands Sunday night and early this morning.
The long lines and confusion added to a frustrating day for some fans, who also had problems boarding trains to the stadium before the start of the game that officials had dubbed the “first mass transit Super Bowl.”
By midnight, charter buses were brought in to take fans to Manhattan and alleviate the train lines. By 12:35 this morning, the lines for the trains had eased. And shortly before 1 a.m., the last weary fans at the stadium appeared to be boarding the final trains out of the Meadowlands.
Gee, only three hours after the game ended. If they ever try this again in New Jersey maybe they should consider letting people drive to the stadium.
“You can get out of any stadium in 45 minutes to an hour. We are at three hours just to get here,” said Terry Thon, of Denver, as he exited one of the last trains into the Secaucus Junction transfer station. Ahead of him was another 45-minute wait to get on his next train, he said.
NJ Transit officials said the agency transported about three times as many fans out the Meadowland after the Super Bowl as it typically does during a Giants game.
“We’ve moved more people than we’ve ever moved in and out of this place,” said Jim Weinstein, executive director of NJ Transit, who was standing on the platform with some of the last passengers to leave the Meadowlands.
For many fans, it had been a harrowing day on the rails. More than 28,000 people bought train tickets to the Meadowlands station, shattering a record set more than four years ago, NJ Transit said. It was far more people than officials had expected to ride the trains, and it proved too much for the transit system to handle at times.