NJ Transit’s ‘staffing challenges’ add to commuter headaches as about 20 buses cancelled

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NEWARK, N.J. — In addition to reduced service in and out of Penn Station due to summer rail repairs, New Jersey Transit cancelled trains and buses this week.

Officials cited “operational” and “mechanical” problems  to explain the cancellation of about 20 NJ Transit buses Wednesday morning. It impacted riders from Lakewood, Old Bridge and Rutherford.

NJ Transit also cancelled trains Monday and Tuesday because some engineers did not show up for work. A spokesperson said that the engineers were exercising a contractual right to take off for two days when a train schedule changes.

"It’s kind of, a little frustrating but it’s alright," said Kevin Hylas, a commuter who missed his train home thanks to an issue at Penn Station.

"There was maintenance getting done and no one knew about it," said Hylas. "So we waited for 10 minutes and then found out we had to go across the track to another train and I just missed my train because of it."

NJ Transit officials met at headquarters in Newark Wednesday to discuss customer service. Transit officials also got grilled by lawmakers in Trenton this morning.

In two months, NJ Transit has received over 15,000 tweets from riders. More than half of them were complaints.   ​

"There’s really no way to plan around it," said Hylas. "Hopefully they just pick it up a little bit and tomorrow is a little better."