New Jersey Transit and the NFL will review operations during the first “Mass Transit Super Bowl” that left throngs of fans waiting hours for a train, officials said yesterday.
There were about 33,000 people trying to get home after the game, blowing out estimates by the host committee, which predicted 12,000 people would use mass transit on Game Day. NJ Transit set a ridership record before the game, bringing in 28,000 people.
“We’re evaluating what happened to see what factors went into the enhanced demand for rail but this was billed as the first mass transit Super Bowl and many people chose to take advantage of that,” said NJ Transit spokesman William J. Smith.
The NJ Transit platform taking fans to Secaucus Junction was cleared by 12:40 a.m., about two and a half hours after the Seattle Seahawks clinched victory against the Denver Broncos. NJ Transit was running 10-car trains at the station in a “load-and-go” manner to get people back to Secaucus Junction, according to Smith. There were also 20 buses dispatched from the Vince Lombardi service area that took 1,100 people from the stadium to the Port Authority bus terminal. There were no reports of injuries or incidents following the game, Smith said.
NFL executive Eric Grubman, at a news conference yesterday, recognized that the early estimates were “considerably short of the actual number.”
Should New York City host another Super Bowl in the future, Grubman said transportation should be planned at the same level as weather.
“Next time, we’ll have lots of plans for all the things we can’t control and can’t anticipate related to transit,” Grubman said.