The New Jersey Express

I just took the New Jersey Express from Penn Station in New York City to the Newark Airport (EWR), it was one of the most painful transit experiences I have ever had in the U.S.

pushers in Tokyo subway
There was a monumental herd of people all packed into the waiting area. Everyone was waiting for trains that were all running late. As soon as a train’s platform was posted, there was an immediate stampede to that platform. Invariably there would be some sort of bottleneck – a doorway or stairwell in which a large pack of people would get stuck behind in which a large herd forms. It was only 1 step away from requiring these “pushers” that they have in Japan to make sure everyone gets on.

I have 2 beefs with this situation:

  1. It is totally avoidable – there is no reason for this situation to be so utterly disorganized, give one of the managers a 3 week course in basic operations or find any person with half a brain and they will be able to clean up the flow of people to make sense.
  2. There is no reason for people to behave like animals. The train is there; it’s not going anywhere. There is no reason to push and shove, you won’t get there any faster.

When society does finally break down a la Lord of the Flies, it will start at a place like this.

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