HOBOKEN, N.J. (PIX11) — A potential impasse in wage talks between New Jersey Transit and the labor union representing its train engineers could eventually leave hundreds of thousands of people without a way to get around.

More than a dozen unions have come to an agreement with NJ Transit on contract terms, leaving the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen as the lone holdout. The union is pushing for pay parity with engineers on the Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North, and Amtrak.

The union says that it has been negotiating with NJ Transit since 2020, angling for a pay raise of between 18 and 23%. 

In a statement issued Thursday morning, NJ Transit said that talks are ongoing and that any possibility of a work stoppage was several months down the road.

“We have made a fair and pattern-based contract offer that has been accepted and ratified by 14 of our 15 rail unions covering 91% of our rail union employees,” the statement said in part, noting that the BLET is the only union yet to agree. “NJ Transit is currently engaged in active and ongoing mediation through the National Mediation Board.”

James Brown, general chairman of the union, said in a statement of his own that the deals were not comparable.

“We do different jobs,” said Brown in part. “They’re comparing us with ticket collectors and ticket agents and clerks. … [We] have a lot more responsibility, a lot more training.”

The involved parties are due in Washington next month for federal mediation in an attempt to find a deal. Without an agreement, hundreds of thousands of commuters could eventually be forced to find alternate modes of transportation, with many likely to turn to already congested bridges and tunnels.