The cab driver looks painfully at me and blurts, “You’ve said nothing about the train crash. Terrible terrible. You don’t know about it?” Of course I do know about it, but I was holding up a fifty pound computer while talking to a potential new partner about a docu-series for the New York Film Festival while also standing in a lobby playing nice with a doorman. “I do know about it, yes.” “You are not upset? 100 people have died.” “Died? I thought they were injured.” I gulped. It could have been me. I was on a different train into the city earlier in the morning. It could have been any of us. My taxi driver was clearly shaken. When I reached my apartmen,t I raced to find more information.
People kicked out windows, screaming and crawling out of the train, according to Bloomberg. People were limping, bloodied said shaken witnesses. Last week I wanted to stay in our home in Long Island because I didn’t want to get hit with a pipe bomb and this week I don’t want to take the train in case Long Island Railroad isn’t capable of handling our commute either.
For too long, we have put up with infrastructure every day across New York City that is sometimes over one hundred years old. The commute back and forth to Hoboken and the exit to the ferry terminal is reminiscent of a scene out of Boardwalk Empire, green grey brown incandescent dirty lighting – it’s literally Dickensian. Vice President Joe Biden, Donald Trump and a senior executive at GE have all complained that our airports look like we are living in a third world country. Our trains and train stations are no better. This is a tragedy we expect to read about in India and Eastern Europe, not in the New York area. Enough is enough.
NJ Transit will assure us they that they deliver over 200 million passengers safely a year but guess what — That’s your job. For the 100,000 people who use NJ Transit to travel between New Jersey and New York to work every day this is inexcusable.
Gov Christie is going down to the crash site today and says he doesn’t know what the cause of the crash is right now. Whether it’s negligence, age or an attack, such a tragedy is a good opportunity to call for an overhaul to this system – because it matters.