New Jersey Transit Blecch! (Nov 2002 - Oct 2003)

Andy did not own a car for a protracted period of time, and was fine with the concept of public transportation. The reality, in New Jersey at least, seldom lives up to the concept. Between November 2002 and October 2003, his commute to work required trips on New Jersey Transit's Northeast Corridor train line and the 83 bus line, as well as the PATH (Port Authority TransHudson) system. PATH usually runs quite reliably; however, the same can't be said for New Jersey Transit's rail division. July and August 2003 were especially heinous months for New Jersey Transit Rail customers, and rather than adding to the numerous letters to the editors of local newspapers complaining about NJT, Andy decided to take a different approach.

He created a daily blecch to document the instances when New Jersey Transit failed to render him acceptable service. The word 'blecch' conveys just how much confidence NJT inspires in him, but if you're looking for a 'blog instead, there's a fun (though also retired) one called Hi, I'm On The Train, with fun-filled commuter stories from around the country.

Andy still rides NJT trains and buses infrequently, and they continue to incite aggravation, but he does own a car and drive these days.

10-31-03 - Although I was certain I wouldn't make it, I did get on the 6:42 this morning, through the good graces of the NJT employee operating the train doors. I even managed to get on the 7:30 83 bus instead of the 7:45! I went into New York for the Village Halloween parade after work; the 166 showed up a bit later than it should have, but it did all right getting into the City. No issues with Coach/Suburban on the way back to New Brunswick, either... And this should be the last Blecch! entry for a while, as I'm moving tomorrow and probably won't be riding an NJT train again for some time. Hope someone out there has found this log interesting...

10-30-03 - I finally caught the right 76L bus in the morning to Hackensack, and made the 8:30 83 bus to Ridgefield... and then realized that that combination wasn't going to get me to work on time after all. Oh, well, I'll just have to leave the apartment a bit earlier than anticipated. The 6:31 Northeast Corridor train was on time this evening.

10-29-03 - I just made it onto the 6:42 train this morning. I literally had to push open the doors, which were sliding closed, in order to squeeze on board. Almost made the 7:30 bus instead of my usual 7:45, but not quite... No problems with the 76 to Lyndhurst this evening.

10-28-03 - D'oh! I boarded the first 76 bus I saw this morning; unfortunately, it turned out to be a 15-minute late 76P, which strolled around the Lyndhurst Industrial Park and made me miss the 8:30 83 bus to Ridgefield. The new train schedules meant that my usual 6:27 PM Northeast Corridor express train to New Brunswick has been replaced by a 6:31; that, of course, was about five minutes late this evening. I got a pleasant surprise from New Jersey Transit when I arrived home, though; I won a pair of tickets to ride the Circle Line cruise around Manhattan, for being among the first fifty people to sign up for NJT's Quik-Tik online. They must not be aware of this Blecch!, or they'd probably have given my tickets to someone else. Heh-heh...

10-27-03 - Arrrgh... New Jersey Transit has instituted new train schedules, and this time they've replaced the 6:48 with a 6:42, which I hadn't anticipated. I caught the new 6:57 local instead, and just made the 8:00 83 bus, which was running just late enough to get me to work a few minutes past 9 AM. At least the afternoon 83 bus back to Hackensack and the 76 to Lyndhurst ran more or less on time.

10-25-03 - The 11:12 PM train to New Brunswick was on time, though it dragged like all the late-night trains do.

10-24-03 - Once again, the train was just a little bit late this morning. We never seem to arrive at Newark on time anymore, though it hasn't been keeping me from getting on that 7:45 bus. Well, it looks like I'll only be doing this for another week...

10-23-03 - The 6:48 was disguised as a 6:55 today, but I still got to Journal Square in time (just) to catch the 7:45 bus to Ridgefield. I left work early again today, but this time both the bus and the train behaved and got me to New Brunswick on time.

10-22-03 - I believe the 6:48 was two minutes late again this morning, but there were still no issues with getting to work on time. I left work early, but the 83 bus I was shooting for showed up about 25 minutes late! At least the 4:55 PM train was punctual...

10-21-03 - The train was a little late again this morning. Maybe New Jersey Transit is aware that I won't be riding the NEC rails for much longer, and they want to make the last two weeks memorable for me. Awww, thanks, guys! I stopped at Newport Centre for a bit after work, and experienced no delays getting there, but the Exchange Place PATH train I boarded for Newark was stopped at Journal Square for an unexplained 'medical emergency.' As a result, I just missed the 7:58 train to New Brunswick; the 8:23 ran smoothly.

10-20-03 - This morning's 6:48 was running a bit late and a bit slow; I did make my 7:45 AM bus, however... The 6:27 heading back was a wee bit late as well, but hardly enough to mention, so I won't. Oh, wait...

10-18-03 - The 3:36 PM train out of New Brunswick was running ten minutes late or so today, so I just missed the 4:20 PM 76 bus. I had a nice, leisurely wait for the 5:30... I made the 12:16 AM train back home, which was slow as ever...

10-17-03 - No delays on the rails or the roads today.

10-16-03 - Caught the 8:23 PM Northeast Corridor train out of Newark and got home when I was supposed to.

10-15-03 - I won't swear to it, but I think the 6:48 was a minute early today. Made it to work on time again... The 76 to Lyndhurst ran within normal operating parameters, too.

10-14-03 - The 6:48 was maybe two minutes late this morning, not so bad... Got to work on time. The 76 bus got me to Newark juuust late enough that I missed the 9:29 PM train by a minute or two; the 9:56 performed adequately, though we did arrive at New Brunswick about three minutes late.

10-13-03 - Got a ride to work this morning; the commute back home was as timely as could be expected.

10-10-03 - The PATH train had a few minor issues this morning, just enough to keep me from catching the 7:30 bus instead of my usual 7:45. It would've been nice to have arrived at work a bit early... but oh well. After some dinner and drinks at On the Border, I rode the 8:27 PM 76 bus out of Hackensack and the 9:56 train out of Newark.

10-9-03 - A delay-free morning commute again today... Took the 76 to Newark this evening, and I caught the 7:58 train to New Brunswick. That ran smoothly, too.

10-8-03 - No issues with the 6:48 this morning, either. I grabbed a 166 bus into New York after work, and that performed about as well as I'd expected given Lincoln Tunnel traffic. The Suburban bus home did all right, too.

10-7-03 - The 6:48 showed up on time again this morning. Had to do some running around after work, so I bummed a few rides off a few bums and never had to take public transportation...

10-6-03 - I'm tellin' ya, I could really get used to the trains running on time like this...!

10-3-03 - The train was four or five minutes late this morning, not enough to make a difference to my commute. The return train at 6:27 PM was also about five minutes late.

10-2-03 - Everything was on time again this morning... and this evening. Whoa, duuude...!

10-1-03 - The 6:48 was on time this morning, and so was I. Even the 6:27 PM train made a timely appearance.

9-30-03 - I grabbed a 76M (Meadowlands service) bus to Hackensack this morning, which took longer than the normal local bus; I then hopped onto the 83 bus at 9 AM and arrived at work about 35 minutes late. D'oh! The 6:27 PM train home was on schedule.

9-28-03 - The 12:36 PM northbound train was a few minutes late, but not enough to cause me any worries. The 76 bus out of Newark also behaved itself.

9-26-03 - Lo and behold! The 6:48 showed up this morning at... 6:48! The bus ran a bit late, but not enough to cause me to be late. I caught the 12:59 AM train out of Newark; why are those late-night trains always so slooow...?

9-25-03 - The train was two or three minutes late this morning; maybe they should just change the time on the schedule from 6:48 to 6:51, and then everyone would be happy. Anyway, I did make it to work early, so I'm not kvetching. At least the 6:27 was running normally this evening...

9-24-03 - All trains heading out of New York Penn Station this afternoon/evening were delayed by vague 'wire problems.' Well, my 6:27 did arrive at Newark Penn on time, but it made additional stops, so it took us twelve minutes longer to get to New Brunswick than usual.

9-23-03 - The 6:48 was running eight minutes late this morning. That didn't stop me from making the 7:45 bus, but that hit some traffic in Union City, and so I got to work about ten minutes later than usual.

9-22-03 - No problems to report this morning... or this evening, either!

9-19-03 - The 6:48 was running five minutes late, but I still made it to work on time. The 6:27 PM train homeward was also almost five minutes late.

9-18-03 - The 7:47 PM train to New Brunswick was remarkably punctual considering the wind that Hurricane (or Tropical Storm, or whatever it is now) Isabel sent our way.

9-16-03 - The 6:48 showed up on time at New Brunswick this morning, and arrived at Newark when it was supposed to, too. Got to work (oh, man, work) well before 9... I boarded the 76 bus in Hackensack, but I got on the Meadowland-routed one, so I think it took a bit longer to get to my final destination than it would have otherwise...

9-15-03 - My flight back to Newark was delayed about 45 minutes, due to weather conditions in Jersey, plus ongoing work which left only one runway available at Newark. D'oh! Upon landing, we had to sit for an additional 20 minutes or so and wait for our gate to be cleared. At least the 3:28 PM train from the airport to New Brunswick was only two or three minutes late.

9-10-03 - I rode the 6:58 to Newark International Airport this morning, and it wasn't noticeably slower than usual. My Continental flight to Logan Airport in Boston was seriously delayed, however; we had to wait an hour, apparently because only one runway was open for business. Oh, well.

As this is the New Jersey Transit Blecch!, I will refrain from commenting one way or the other on Boston's MBTA service. No more Blecch! entries until I return next Monday...

9-9-03 - Took a SEPTA train into Philly this morning, which was pretty punctual. The train back to Trenton was running approximately eight minutes late, but the New Jersey Transit train to New York was doin' OK. No troubles with the MTA's F train to 2nd Avenue, either. The PATH train to Journal Square got quite crowded, though it was bearable by the time we got there and switched to the Newark train; the Northeast Corridor train back to New Brunswick was extremely delayed, and I boarded the 8:29 PM at around 8:53. It took over forty-two minutes to get to Hub City...

9-8-03 - I caught an early bus to Newark this morning; ugh, I hadn't ever had to deal with rush-hour traffic into Newark before. The bus ended up running a bit late, and I didn't make the train to New Brunswick that I'd planned on, but the next one did run on time, at least.

9-5-03 - My last trip northward to Newark Penn Station for the next ten days or so went smoothly again, and I made it to work on schedule. The ride home went all right, too...

9-4-03 - The 6:48 was punctual this morning. Frighteningly punctual. What happened? Anyway, I got to work on time again... I was a little distracted, but managed to board a 76 bus to Newark tonight, which arrived just late enough to miss the 9:28 train; the 9:56 got me home a few minutes later than scheduled.

9-3-03 - Another dark and drizzly day. Ugh. No serious problems with this morning's commute, though. The 83 bus took forever to get to Journal Square in the evening; there was a lot of traffic, and as a result I got on the 6:49 train to New Brunswick. At least that was running on time, for a change.

9-2-03 - Dark and drizzly out this morning, but that didn't cause problems with the train. There was traffic on Tonnelle, however, but I still managed to get to work on time. I got on the 6:08 PM train at around 6:21 PM; there were extensive delays due to a bridge strike (no, I don't know what the bridges were striking over), and I arrived in New Brunswick at about 6:55 PM.

8-30-03 - Went up north to see Jon today; the 10:38 AM train showed up about ten minutes late, then dragged its way up to Newark, losing another five minutes or so in the process, so that I missed my 11:30 bus. Grrr... Luckily, Jon decided to pick me up at Penn Station, otherwise I'd have had to wait for the 12:30 bus. At least the 9:18 PM train back to New Brunswick was being more reasonable...

8-29-03 - The 6:48 was running ten minutes late this morning. Happy, happy, joy, joy... Still made it work on time, though. This being the last week we keep summer hours at work, I caught an earlier 83 bus to Journal Square and easily made it onto the 3:51 train to New Brunswick, which arrived pretty close to its scheduled 4:21 arrival time.

8-28-03 - I caught the 7:25 PM northbound North Jersey Coast Line train out of Point Pleasant, which seemed to run on time; it was my first time on this particular line. I hopped off at Rahway and switched to the Northeast Corridor train at 9:15, which got me to New Brunswick at 9:32 as promised.

8-25-03 - The 6:48, the PATH, and the 83 bus were all on good behavior in the AM. Nice to see. Exasperatingly, though, the 83 bus on the ride home didn't have air conditioning. Nor did the 6:49 train, which was running nine minutes late to boot. Arrgghhh...

8-23-03 - On my journey into north Jersey today, neither the 1:00 PM Northeast Corridor train nor the 2:00 PM 76 bus gave me a hassle. I guess the weekend service is more reliable...

8-22-03 - Hey, the 6:48 showed up on time this morning. Go figure. I went to New York for a bit after work, and had no delays on either the NJT 161 or the Coach/Suburban bus.

8-21-03 - My usual 6:48 was running ten minutes late this morning! Somehow, though, we made it to Newark only five minutes later than normal, and so I made all my connections and got to work on time again. My cheekbone was slammed into by a young woman's shoulder on the 83 bus back to Journal Square this evening; it wasn't her fault, though, she was standing in front of me when the driver slammed on the brakes, causing her to spin and land on her seat in the seat next to me. It was quite a neat trick to see, actually, but in the process, she did manage to hit my face. She apologized profusely, and if I hadn't been so wrapped up in the magazine I'd been reading, perhaps I would've thought to ask her to kiss it better. Heh-heh... Anyway, the 6:27 was running about 17 minutes late, so I boarded it and got home ten or so minutes earlier than usual.

8-20-03 - This morning, the 6:48 was only two minutes late, so I didn't have any troubles. The returning 6:27 train was again late, by almost ten minutes, so I caught that on the way home. Sweet...

8-19-03 - The 6:48 was almost ten minutes late this morning! I made it to work on time nonetheless... Wow, someone really reeked on the PATH train this evening! We got out of work half an hour early today, and so I made the 6:27 train (which was, needless to say, running four minutes or so behind schedule).

8-18-03 - The 6:48 was two minutes late this morning, which worked out well, because I was almost two minutes late myself. Made it to work right on time, though... I even managed to catch the 6:32 going home this evening, so I arrived a few minutes earlier than usual.

8-15-03 - Because of the blackout, the Northeast Corridor trains were running on a Saturday schedule, so I rode the 6:57 to Newark. I had to catch the 8:00 bus, but I still got to work on time. After work, Yesika, Nicole, and I went into New York City, as planned, but because they weren't allowing buses into the Port Authority Bus Terminal (because it didn't have power), we had to head to Hoboken and take the PATH in from there. Oh, well. After a few hours of wandering Manhattan and Hoboken, I took the PATH back to Newark and made the 10:18 PM back home, with no hitches.

8-14-03 - The 6:48 sheepishly showed its face at New Brunswick seven or eight minutes late, but I did get to work on time despite NJT's best efforts. The massive power outages along the Northeast that began this afternoon kept the trains (and many of the buses) from running, however, and so Barbara came to pick me up at work. Thanks, Babs!

8-12-03 - The train (the 6:48, that is) was on time again this morning. Woo-hoo! I left work a little bit early and thus managed to ride the 6:27 PM train to New Brunswick. Woo-hoo again!

8-11-03 - The Northeast Corridor train, the PATH train, and the 83 bus all ran smoothly and punctually this morning. I was able to ride the 6:27 PM train home, as it was running twelve minutes late; that still got me home a bit earlier than usual.

8-8-03 - No worries this morning... It took forever for the 165 bus to get from Little Ferry to New York this afternoon! Once I'd gotten there, though, the Coach/Suburban bus did an adequate job of delivering me home on time.

8-7-03 - The 8:48 was running four or five minutes late this morning, which fortunately didn't keep me from arriving at work on time. Everything was running late in the evening, too, but I managed to catch the 6:27 at around 6:40, so I still got to New Brunswick a little earlier than usual.

8-6-03 - Police activity in Jersey City (or was it Union City?) slowed the 83 bus this morning, causing me to be ten minutes late. I detoured to Pavonia/Newport Center from Journal Square this evening and caught "Cradle of Life," the new "Tomb Raider" movie; I got back to Newark in time to catch the 9:56 train back to New Brunswick.

8-5-03 - I was running late this morning, but this time it was my own fault, for oversleeping. I'd like to blame the cat, but I can't, really. I made the 8:58, because it was also late, by two minutes or so. At Journal Square, those two minutes caught up with me, because I just missed the 8:00 bus, and the 8:30 got me to work forty minutes late. D'oh!!! The ride home was much less hectic, and the 6:49 got me to New Brunswick on time.

8-4-03 - Well, as with the past few mornings, the train was short a few cars, as NJT is still inspecting the Arrow cars in the aftermath of the derailment two weeks ago. The ride was crowded, but at least I got to work on time. Flash flooding in the late afternoon wreaked major havoc with traffic, and the 83 bus deposited me at Journal Square about half an hour later than usual; I then took the PATH to Newark grumblingly and had to get on the 7:18 train to New Brunswick, which didn't run late, at least.

8-1-03 - It was all good this morning getting to work. The 8:23 PM New Brunswick-bound train arrived in Newark five minutes late, but again, compared with what we've had to deal with lately, that wasn't bad at all.

7-31-03 - Nothing to say about this morning's mild commute... and we were less than five minutes late getting home in the evening! Progress!

7-30-03 - Despite all the gloomy warnings this morning, and the fact that the 6:48 showed up at New Brunswick almost ten minutes late, I managed to make it to work on time after all. The 6:49 to New Brunswick was only three or four minutes late this evening, so I guess they managed to get things under control, more or less.

7-29-03 - Late to work again this morning, this time thanks to New Jersey Transit. The 6:48 showed up seven minutes late, and then took its sweet time on the way to Newark. When I got off at Penn Station, I heard an announcement on the train that, due to technical difficulties, it wasn't going to make it to New York. Luckily, that wasn't my problem... but I did arrive at Journal Square about three minutes too late to make the 7:45 bus, so I had to settle for the 8:00. The way home was much more horrendous, though. A 'catenary wire' (whatever that is) was apparently hanging down over (possibly onto) the track just west of Metropark, and so that caused all Trenton-bound trains, New Jersey Transit and Amtrak alike, to back up east of Metropark. The 6:49, which I boarded, stood just west of the airport for ten minutes or so, before we backed up to the airport station itself, where they let us get off the train and stretch, as it was particularly crowded on board. After spending well over an hour there, a train approached heading back to Newark and New York, so I got on that and went to New York Penn, where I discovered that all Coach/Suburban buses heading toward New Brunswick and Princeton had incredibly long lines, because everyone else was trying to go home that way. I'd probably have had to wait at least another 90 minutes just to get on a bus, so I ended up taking the PATH back to Newark Penn Station, where Barbara picked me up; we didn't get home 'til after midnight...

7-28-03 - Well, Barbara got me to the train station this morning just in time to see the doors of the 6:48 closing, with me on the wrong side of 'em. D'oh. The 6:58, being a local, held out no hope of my getting to work on time, but I took it and made the 8:00 bus (barely) and was ten minutes late to work. Leaving work early, I caught the 5:36 PM train, which was running about seven minutes late.

7-25-03 - The SEPTA trains between Trenton and Philadelphia behaved themselves today, I'm happy to report.

7-24-03 - Wow, on time again! To what do I owe this extraordinary pleasure?

7-23-03 - No delays worth mentioning this morning. The 6:32 PM train was also cooperative for once this evening...

7-22-03 - OK, no problems this morning; the 6:48 even showed up at 6:48. The 6:49 PM train was 'only' five minutes late, which, for New Jersey Transit, isn't bad at all...

7-21-03 - The 6:48 was running like a 6:50 this morning; didn't cause me to be late for work, though. In the evening, a power failure evidently caused all the trains that were supposed to be coming from New York not to actually arrive at Newark until quite a while later. I finally boarded the 6:27 at 7:25 PM. Maybe we need to switch these things to battery power...

7-19-03 - I took the train (which was eight minutes late) to Newark, and almost missed the 72 bus to Clifton, but not quite. Met an Argentine on the bus whose attention was grabbed by my guitar gig bag; he's a musician, too, and so we chatted for a while about playing, and different bands and genres of music. Always cool to bump into a kindred spirit... The 191 bus to New York showed up a few minutes late, too, and then traffic at the Lincoln Tunnel almost caused me to miss Coach/Suburban's midnight bus to New Brunswick. Ugh, too many close calls today.

7-18-03 - All's well this morning, the ride to work was smooth and punctual. The train was running five minutes late on the way home, but, hey, that's not bad at all by NJT standards.

7-17-03 - I had the day off and went to the Macworld Expo in New York today; I got on the 8:10 Amtrak train to Newark, and even that ended up getting delayed a few minutes outside of Penn Station. Maybe we were behind the Orient Express... I had no problems with the PATH or subway trains, though, nor with the Suburban bus back home.

7-16-03 - A pain-free commute to work this morning... which was, of course, balanced by the unexplained delay in the evening on the trains coming from New York. I got on the 6:27 train at 6:39. Still, it got me home faster than the 6:32 I'd expected to make would have.

7-15-03 - Beware the Ides of July... The train was four minutes late when I finally got to board it at New Brunswick this morning. But I still made the 7:45 bus and got to work on time... To my great surprise, the 6:49 PM train home ran on schedule, too.

7-14-03 - Maybe the fact that there were no holdups during my commute to work this morning is a good omen for the work week. (No holdups for me, anyway; I heard that trains were delayed between Newark and New York.) Things did move a bit sluggishly aboard the 6:32 train home, but it is a local and not an express...

7-13-03 - The 12:01 train to Newark showed up two or three minutes late but made it there quickly. The return train at 5:16 arrived in New Brunswick over five minutes late, though; the blame was pinned on an Amtrak train at Metropark.

7-12-03 - Rode the RiverLink ferry between Philadelphia and Camden today, and even that departed late. Not so bad, though, and it certainly didn't take long to cross the Delaware.

7-11-03 - Dreary lookin' morning out there, but as long as I get to work on time (which I did), I can deal with the occasional moody grey day. We were only five minutes late on the way home...

7-10-03 - Back to a normal routine for me this morning, and, fortunately, for public transportation, too, it seems. The way home turned out surprisingly smooth as well...

7-9-03 - Wow, the 127 bus I took from the office to Manhattan got there faster than any I'd ever taken before...! The Suburban/Coach bus back to New Brunswick behaved well within parameters.

7-8-03 - Smoooove ride to work today... well, not work, really. I'm going to the office briefly, but then I'm heading to the Meadowlands for the Metallica show. Woo-hoo! So there won't be another NJT update 'til tomorrow...

7-7-03 - Wow, mass transit was all right this morning, too... We're now running summer hours at work, so I get out half an hour later Monday through Thursday (though we only work 'til 1 PM on Fridays!), so most likely I'll end up catching the 6:49 PM bus those four days a week, like I did today. Of course, it showed up about five minutes late, and arrived in New Brunswick late as well. D'oh.

7-3-03 - On time again this morning! I got a ride to Newark's Penn Station in the evening, and the train behaved itself again.

7-2-03 - And, once again, no problems getting to work on time this morning. Went into Manhattan after work, no problems with any of the conveyances used to get there.

7-1-03 - Nothing to report, coming or going.

6-30-03 - So far, so good: no delays this morning. Can't wait 'til tomorrow when I can start using my monthly train and bus passes, though! Thankfully, the ride home was on schedule. Now let's keep it that way.

6-28-03 - Took the train directly into New York's Penn Station early this afternoon for a day in the City with Yesika and Luigui; I had no issues with it, or the 1 subway train uptown to Lincoln Center, or even the Coach/Suburban bus back home.

6-27-03 - Nothing to report this morning, either. We had our Company picnic this afternoon, and I rode the 165 bus into New York; as I boarded the bus in the early part of rush hour, it took us rather a while to get into Manhattan. The Coach/Suburban bus back to New Brunswick was delayed both in arriving at the Port Authority Bus Terminal and in conveying me to New Brunswick, but that was the fault of an accident or two on the New Jersey Turnpike.

6-26-03 - Well, everything was on time this morning... and the evening commute was acceptable.

6-25-03 - I'm better now... The ride to work was smooth this morning, though it's rather annoying that I had to purchase single-ride tickets for the train and pay cash on the bus. Oh, well, it's just 'til the end of the month. The ride home was hellish once again. My regular bus never showed up; the next one showed up a bit late, and overcrowded, and it overheated several times before finally coming to a halt in Union City. Behind another broken-down bus. The bus that was arriving at that stop as we were streaming off our bus didn't bother to wait for us, so we stood around in the heat for 15-20 minutes, waiting for another; by that time, our bus was operational again, so we streamed back on and completed the trip without event. I ended up getting home at 7:45 again...

6-24-03 - Warm and sunny with a 99& chance of punctual mass transit this morning. This evening, however... I probably should wait until I get home and cool off a bit before writing this, but I'm just too bleeding aggravated not to vent. I can't, and don't, blame New Jersey Transit, or the Port Authority Trans-Hudson system, for my losing my monthly bus and train passes, my 40-trip PATH QuickCard, or my newly replenished MTA MetroCard; that was my own carelessness. But because I didn't notice the loss until I was heading towards the 83 bus after work, I turned around and went back to the building to see if perhaps the plastic holder the passes had been in had fallen out of my bag in my office. It hadn't, and I'm fairly certain that it fell out on the 83 bus on my way in this morning. Going back to the office caused me to miss my regular bus. The bus that was scheduled after that one never showed up. The bus after that finally got me to Journal Square around 6:45 PM, more than half an hour later than usual. I hopped on the next PATH train, which should have brought me to Newark in time to catch the 7:02 train to New Brunswick. Only it didn't. It sat on the track for six minutes or so, without explanation, before finally departing. Which meant that I had to ride the 7:18 PM train instead. So, to recap: because I arrived at the bus stop ten minutes later than my regular time this evening, I got home fifty-five minutes later than usual. Goddamned incompetents.  :::grumble:::

6-23-03 - I got to the station just as the 6:48 train was pulling in this morning, and made it aboard with fifteen seconds or so to spare. At Journal Square, the escalator leading up into the station from the PATH trains was closed off for repairs; I wasn't surprised to hear people grumbling about having to use the stairs (I usually take the stairs anyway, it's faster), but I was astonished to see a few people standing in front of the escalator with puzzlement and consternation obvious on their faces. Could they really not have grasped the alternative? Anyway, I got to work on time... and I got back home on time in the evening, too.

6-21-03 - No problems with the Northeast Corridor trains into and out of New York's Penn Station today, though it is annoying that, at Penn, the track that the train will depart from isn't announced until just a few minutes before it's due to leave...

6-20-03 - I went into Philadelphia this morning, taking the SEPTA R7 train from Trenton, which was on time. The return trip, however, departed Market East Station two minutes late, and arrived in Trenton about eight minutes late. But why should SEPTA do any better than NJT?

6-19-03 - No delays this morning, almost a flawless execution. The return trip was also remarkably trouble-free.

6-18-03 - The 6:48 was more like a 6:53 this morning; still, I did get to work on time. Got back to New Brunswick at a reasonable hour as well...

6-17-03 - Arrived at work early on a partly sunny morning... and arrived home on time to more clouds.

6-16-03 - I don't like Mondays... but at least it's sunny this morning, and the trains and the bus behaved and got me to work early. Everything was mostly on time on the way home as well.

6-13-03 - Friday the 13th, and I got to work with no problems this morning. In fact, the ride home (with a side trip to lower Manhattan for a much-needed haircut) passed without event, too!

6-12-03 - The morning commute went fine, and the evening was also pretty smooth, until I boarded the train and heard them announce that there was a problem with the track. We sat there for ten minutes or so, which was annoying...

6-11-03 - Can we go for a threepeat? Everything was OK this morning... But of course the bus was held up by ambulances and there were problems with the PATH train in the evening. Still, I did manage to get on the 6:27 Northeast Corridor train and get home on time...

6-10-03 - Ah, a sunny day, and a punctual train. In fact, all the public transports behaved well today, both morning and evening.  :D

6-9-03 - The 6:48 was three minutes late today, not enough to cause a blip. I finally got around to giving NJT another two cents by filling out the last of the quarterly online surveys this afternoon, and perhaps they were chastened, because my ride home was also relatively smooth.

6-6-03 - No problems this morning, either. I'm getting nervous... Babs picked me up at work this afternoon, so I didn't need to deal with New Jersey Transit on the way home.

6-5-03 - No difficulties with the commute this morning. Yippee. Got home OK, too.

6-4-03 - I took the day off from work and took care of some business in Elizabeth; the trains there and back both performed admirably, but then it wasn't rush hour, so...

6-3-03 - The 6:48 was on time, and the PATH train and the 83 bus were amenable this morning, too. But, once again, the afternoon bus was running late, and so I missed the 6:27 train and had to ride the 6:32 instead. Happily, I received the link for the final e-Panel survey today...

6-2-03 - The 6:48 was running four or five minutes late this morning, and I was almost slammed into by a young woman who turned the corner inside Journal Square at top speed (upon further reflection, that wouldn't have been so bad...), but I still made it to work ahead of starting time. The journey homeward was even less eventful.

5-31-03 - Barbara and I took my parents to New York City for the day, and took the bus in from the Allwood Park and Ride in Clifton. Prompt and efficient in both directions...

5-30-03 - No problems getting to work on time this morning. Getting home, however, was hampered by a seemingly interminable bus ride to Journal Square (we didn't even hit anyone!), and so I had to get on the 6:49 train, which transported me to New Brunswick at 7:15. Darnit!

5-29-03 - I made the 6:48 easily this morning. One of the ticket collectors was acting a bit zany as we approached Newark Penn; I don't know if he's just naturally a silly guy, or if it was the pressure of dealing with an orange alert added to the normal pressure of dealing with the public, or if he was truly off his medication. Well, as long as I got to work early... Went to Newport Center again after work, to see "X2: X-Men United." Unfortunately, our bus struck a girl in North Bergen, and we had to wait for an untainted bus to come pick us up. I had to catch the 9:56 PM train home from Newark after the movie, so I didn't arrive in New Brunswick until 10:29.

5-28-03 - Damn it. I just missed the 6:48 this morning. I saw the doors slide closed five seconds before I reached them. Ah, well... I did make the 6:58, which was mostly on time, and I got to work by 9 AM, so I guess I can't complain. I left work five minutes early, because a sudden thunderstorm threatened to make mincemeat of my commute, but it disappeared just as suddenly, and I found myself getting to Newark in time to catch the 6:08, so I arrived in New Brunswick ten minutes early.

5-27-03 - Despite oversleeping this morning, I made the 6:48 and got to Journal Square in time to make the 7:45 bus. Unfortunately, that broke down about ten minutes later, and we had to wait fifteen minutes for the 8:00 to come rescue us. D'oh! The 83 slogged through traffic painfully slowly on the way home, too, but I got to Newark about fifteen seconds before my 6:27 train showed up, so that worked out OK.

5-23-03 - The 6:48 was stopped outside Newark for at least five minutes this morning, with no announcement. Riding the PATH to Journal Square, I saw a large number of orange-clad men walking along the tracks; I won't swear to it, but I think they were looking for a contact lens. Anyway, I did just manage to make the 7:45 bus, so that was OK. We closed the office early due to the impending holiday weekend, so I got to New Brunswick over an hour earlier than usual after catching the 5:17 train (at 5:17 this time).

5-22-03 - OK, made the 6:48 and arrived early at work again. And I didn't go home right from work, but rode the PATH into lower Manhattan instead. No delays there, of course... I made the midnight Suburban bus back to New Brunswick with two minutes or so to spare.

5-21-03 - No delays this morning, got to work early... and once again, the way home was a debacle. There was more of that non-specific 'police activity' this afternoon; as a result, even though I arrived at Newark Penn Station around 6:15 PM, I found myself boarding the 5:17 train... at 7:05.

5-20-03 - The 6:48 was a few minutes late this morning, but that wasn't enough to keep me from making the 7:45 bus, so, no big deal. However, on the way home, there was a police investigation of some sort at New York's Penn Station, which held up a whole multitude of trains. I got home around fifteen minutes later than usual.

5-19-03 - No difficulties in getting to work this morning; the 6:48 showed up on time, and everything ran as expected. The ride home was uneventful, too, and I arrived in New Brunswick only two minutes late.

5-16-03 - Vacation day for me, so no public transportation; I stayed home.

5-15-03 - I did catch the 6:48 today, and all went well on the way to work. Once again, I didn't head straight home after work; I went to Newport Center Mall instead and saw "The Matrix Reloaded." The PATH train on the way back to Newark ran just a bit later than expected, and so I had to catch a later train home than I'd planned. Oh, well...

5-14-03 - Well, I didn't make it to the station in time to catch the 6:48, but the 6:58 was only four or five minutes late. Made it to work on time... Didn't go home after work, I headed to Greenwich Village for some live music; public transportation was behaving well.

5-13-03 - Hey, hey, what do you say? I made the 6:48 today! And, whoa, the 6:27 actually got me to New Brunswick five minutes early!

5-12-03 - Made the 6:48 in my usual fashion, and made it to work early in the same way. The 6:27 train home even got me to New Brunswick a minute or two early.

5-9-03 - Ugh. I overslept this morning, and got up an hour later than usual. Still, I got to the train station on time, and the 6:48, which apparently overslept as well, was only two or three minutes late. Got to work on time... and got home on time, too. Joy!

5-8-03 - Yay, 6:48 was on time again... and there were no problems on the way home, either.

5-7-03 - No problems getting in this morning... well, I did doze off a few times on the bus, and woke up about twenty seconds before we arrived at my stop, but I still made it, and that wasn't New Jersey Transit's fault anyway. Heh-heh. This time, the 83 showed up more or less on time, but it was subjected to a delay of ten minutes or so in Union City; there was a lot of police activity, but I couldn't really see what was going on. Anyway, I still managed to make the 6:27 and get home at my usual time, so... no harm, no foul.

5-6-03 - The NJT train, the PATH train, and the NJT bus were all running on or close to schedule this morning... On the way home, however, the 83 bus showed up around twenty minutes late, with the next bus right behind it. Wonderful. I ended up arriving in Newark about two minutes after my usual 6:27 train had departed, so I had to ride the 6:32, a local instead of an express, which left me in New Brunswick about fifteen minutes later than normal. Ah, well...

5-5-03 - Ah, Cinco de Mayo... Perhaps the conductor had indulged in a wee bit o' tequila this morning; whatever the reason, the 6:48 showed up four or five minutes late. Not late enough to disrupt my schedule, fortunately... A few of us went out after work for Mexican food, and Rhonda was nice enough to drive me to Penn Station in time to catch the 8:23 train home.

5-2-03 - The 6:48 was on time this morning, and it got me to Newark just in time to catch a departing PATH train, which got me to Journal Square just in time to catch the 7:30 bus, instead of the 7:45 I usually ride. So I got to work even earlier than usual. Woo-hoo! The 83 bus on the way home was running a bit late, but I still made everything on time and got to New Brunswick at 6:50 as usual...

5-1-03 - Luckily for me, the 6:48 was running three minutes late this morning, so I was able to ride it. The PATH train took its time departing Newark, too, but I still made it to work early. All the trains coming out of New York in the evening were delayed again, inexplicably (if it was explicable, no one bothered to explain it to me), though the 6:27 arrived at Newark only ten minutes late.

4-30-03 - No difficulties in making the 6:48 this time around... and I caught the 6:08 on the way home, though that arrived in New Brunswick about five minutes later than scheduled.

4-29-03 - Juuust made the 6:48 this morning; once I'd retrieved my pants leg from the closing doors, I was fine. The bus ride to Journal Square took a bit longer than usual, and then the PATH train was delayed, apparently by the drawbridge going up. Still, I got to Newark in time to get on the 6:27 train, which also ran a bit slow, but not terribly so.

4-28-03 - To work and back with no delays. Yippee.

4-25-03 - No problems getting in, but there was some sort of switching problem (or something; the public address system at Newark Penn can sound like Charlie Brown's teacher sometimes) in the evening, so I grabbed the 6:08 bus at around 6:34, when it finally arrived. D'oh!

4-24-03 - Drove, didn't ride.

4-23-03 - Once again, I made it to work early, with no problems. As we were going to see another movie tonight, I left twenty minutes early again, and managed to catch the 5:59 PM to New Brunswick, so we had plenty of time to get to the theater.

4-22-03 - Early to work again; I left work early, too, so that Babs and I could go to the movies, and I got to Metropark when I'd planned to, so that worked out well.

4-21-03 - Easily made the 6:48 this morning and the 6:27 this evening.

4-19-03 - Wow, after breakfast at the diner, Dawn got me to the Dover train station just in time to catch the 12:03 to Hoboken! I then did some hopping around to Journal Square and New York before taking a Suburban bus home.

4-18-03 - What a good Friday! I took the train to Newark Penn Station, caught the 72 bus to Newark Broad Street Station, and then rode another train to Lake Hopatcong, where my friend Dawn picked me up. I'm visiting with her and Dave tonight...

4-17-03 - Ah, trains 'n buses on time again today, too. A fellow could get used to this.

4-16-03 - No problems getting in, no problems getting out. Nice.

4-15-03 - Hey, the train was only two minutes late this morning, hardly late at all! I got to work early, so it's all good. I decided to go home via New York tonight, hoping to make Suburban's 'JFK' bus which would deliver me practically to the door... but I just missed it, and had to walk a bit instead. Oh, well.

4-14-03 - Once again, the 6:48 was running a few minutes late, but I still made it on time. Nothing to report for this evening, thankfully...

4-11-03 - The 6:48 was running eleven minutes late this morning, at least according to the announcement at the station. Still, I made it to work early... I don't know what the hell happened to the 83 bus on the way home, though; the bus that I normally catch apparently never showed up, and I waited half an hour in the drizzle for the next one, which of course made me late getting home...

4-10-03 - I lost a sneaker diving through the closing doors of the 6:48 this morning, but I did make it. Whew! Got to work early, and though I stayed late again, everything was on schedule on the way home, too.

4-9-03 - D'oh! Seeing the train already at the platform as one approaches the station gives one such a sinking feeling... Well, I boarded the 6:58 instead, and still got to work on time. I decided to stay at the office a bit later than usual, and everything ran smoothly on the way home.

4-8-03 - I didn't think I was going to make the 6:48, but it was running a minute or two late, and I managed to sail through the air and clear the doors a split second before they snapped shut with a snarl. OK, not really. But I did just make the train, and I did get to work on time. Made the earlier 6:08 PM train on the way home, always a plus...

4-7-03 - I'd scheduled today as a vacation day at work, two weeks back; good thing, because it snowed like a traffic cop trying to fill his quota at the end of the month.

4-4-03 - Woke up, fell out of bed, dragged a comb across my head... and got on the 6:48 train and made it to work early. Planes, trains, and automobiles were mostly compliant on the return trip as well.

4-3-03 - Made the 6:48, got to work early. Yaaay...! And while I stayed at the office a bit late, everything behaved on the way home, and I arrived in New Brunswick when I'd planned to. Which is always nice.

4-2-03 - Once again, I just missed the 6:48, but the 6:58, the PATH, and the 83 bus all behaved themselves this morning, so I was on time for work. I went into New York this afternoon for Michael Palin's book-signing, and I met a cool young woman on the 166 bus on the way there.  :)  The 6 train got me to Union Square reliably, and the Suburban bus home was on time, too.

4-1-03 - No public transportation for me today, thanks...

3-31-03 - Darnit! Just missed the 6:48 this morning; the 6:58 was on time, though, and I got to Newark with plenty of time to get to Journal Square in time for the 8:00 bus. Only the PATH train wasn't cooperating this morning, oddly enough. I got on the PATH, the doors closed as though we were going to leave... but we just sat there for two minutes. Then the doors opened up again, and we sat there for another minute. Once the doors had closed again, we departed, but I arrived in Journal Square about two minutes too late to make my bus. Thanks sooo much, PATH system. At least the 6:27 on the way home was only four minutes late...

3-29-03 - I went up north to Clifton to hang out with Jon for a few hours; the 8:37 AM train arrived on time, and I was followed onto it by two blondes and one brunette who'd been giving me the eye (I think it was the guitar gig bag on my back that caught their attention). The 72 bus also departed Newark on time, though it arrived in Clifton a few minutes later than I'd been led to believe it would. Oh, well, no big deal. It was pouring when it came time to leave Clifton and head to New York (I met Barbara in the City for a concert), but the 192 showed up on time and made it to the Port Authority Bus Terminal when it was supposed to. We rode Coach/Suburban back home, which was on time, too.

3-28-03 - No probs this morning, and I got a ride home at night. Woo-hoo!

3-27-03 - I didn't get to the station in time for the 6:48 this morning, but the 6:58 was on time, so I still managed to arrive at work on time. I left work a bit later than usual, and the bus and the train both behaved nicely.

3-26-03 - No problems this morning, either. I went out for Mexican food in Hackensack after work with some co-workers, and took the 76 bus to Newark Penn Station afterwards. It departed the Hackensack bus terminal on schedule, and it arrived at Newark on schedule. Wow. The post-rush hour drivers of the 83 could learn a thing or two from this guy... So, in the end, I made it home earlier than I'd anticipated.

3-25-03 - All was well on the way to work today... and on the way home, too. Wow.

3-24-03 - No issues with the 6:48 this morning, but boy, was the 83 bus packed! I don't know if maybe the 7:30 never showed up, but the 7:45 was full, with a standee or two, within ten minutes of leaving Journal Square, and at one point there must have been ten or twelve people standing because all the seats were filled. I hope that was just a fluke... Got home on time this evening, too; the bus was kinda full again, but then that's often the case in the evenings.

3-22-03 - I rode the Peace Train, the 10:03, from New Brunswick to New York's Penn Station, this morning, along with many other antiwar protesters. The mood was pretty upbeat, though there was some anger and disbelief when, while the train was stopped at Newark, Port Authority police officers made people remove the sticks and handles from their signs, citing safety concerns. I'd known that that was going to be an issue, so my own sign didn't have anything attached to it. Once the cops were satisfied, we continued moving... until we were maybe fifteen minutes away from our destination, and the train stopped. We were told that there was a stop signal and we'd be delayed for twenty minutes, which elicited a lot of groaning and grumbling. In the end, however, it was only a twenty-minute delay, and we still arrived in New York with plenty of time to assemble. After the march was over, as I was downtown and right by the 9th Street station, I took the PATH back to Newark and rode the train back to New Brunswick.

3-21-03 - OK, this morning an earlier train was delayed and held up my 6:48; the late train actually showed up at around 6:48, so I boarded it thinking it was my regular train. Only after it had departed did they announce that it was a local and not the express. But we still managed to get to Newark on time, so I can't complain. Much. The ride home went smoothly...

3-20-03 - An earlier train was inexplicably canceled this morning (a casualty of the Illegal War, perhaps?), so the 6:48 made all the local stops unannounced, instead of running express from Metropark to Newark as usual. Still, I made it to work on time, though a bit later than usual. I left work early, and those buses and trains were on schedule.

3-18-03 - The 6:48 was three minutes late this morning, but it didn't affect my commute to work. The bus on the way home, however, delayed me long enough that I missed my usual 6:27 PM train to New Brunswick, and I rode the 6:32 instead, which got me there twenty minutes later. Darnit!

3-17-03 - Lately, the 6:48 gets stopped just outside of Newark Penn Station, waiting for a train ahead of it to clear the station; still, it hasn't been more than a minute or two of delay, so this morning I got to work early again. Evening rush hour was error-free, too.

3-14-03 - The morning and evening commutes went well; however, I couldn't help watching with bemusement the people running through the doors to the platform opposite mine at Newark this evening, letting the door fall behind them, oblivious and uncaring as to whether or not there was anyone right behind them...

3-13-03 - OK, a few hours of sleep (not straight-through, of course; the cats would never allow that) and a flawless ride to work this morning helped make me feel better. I stayed late at work, however, and the fact that the bus I'd intended to take to Jersey City apparently never showed up (or else was extremely late) eroded all that... Still, made it to New Brunswick by 8:10, which was what I'd been shooting for...

3-12-03 - OK, I never made it home last night, and got a ride to work this morning, and a ride home this evening, so a big raspberry to New Jersey Transit for the day.

3-11-03 - This morning, I got to the station with a minute or two to spare before the 6:48 was scheduled to arrive. Leaning out over the edge of the platform, I could even see the train. Two minutes later, I could still see it. In the exact same spot. Five minutes later, same deal. It wasn't until the 6:58 was two or three minutes behind schedule that we finally heard an announcement: the 6:48 was stopped on the tracks just west of New Brunswick (no shit) due to mechanical failure, and the 6:58 was stuck behind it. Around ten minutes later, we were told that the 6:48 was being canceled, and it was only going to stop at New Brunswick to let the people already on board it get off. I fwlt badly for them, but at least they got to spend the time in heated cars, and not on an outdoor platform... The 6:48 finally arrived, with the 6:58 right behind it; unfortunately, all the riders from the debilitated train and the New Brunswick passengers waiting for the 6:48, 6:58, and 7:15 trains wanted to board it, and there were of course people already on board. When I saw how futile it was to attempt to get on this train, I stepped back to wait for the next one. I was briefly flanked by two blondes to whom I had to explain the situation. The next train arrived seven or eight minutes later, and still got crowded quickly, but at least I managed to get a seat. There were a lot of angry murmurs when it was announced that we weren't going to stop at Metropark after all, but... oh, well. This train was supposed to have been an express in the first place, that wasn't even meant to stop at New Brunswick. Then we were told that we were going to stop at the airport, even though we weren't going to originally. The train crew kept emphasizing that it was Amtrak making these decisions, not them. Of course, it was a New Jersey Transit train that broke down on the tracks in the first place... Bottom line: I got to work half an hour late, not nearly as bad as I'd been anticipating, but not really acceptable, either.

3-10-03 - Almost missed the 6:48 AM train, but I got to the platform with seven seconds to spare and managed to get on board, and therefore got to work early. Whew! Oh, I've got to fill out that NJT survey... Made the 6:08 home again, though this time I only arrived in New Brunswick about two minutes earlier.

3-7-03 - Didn't make the 6:48, but the 6:58 was on time and I had no problems getting to work on time. I did manage to get on the 6:08 PM train home, though, and got in around ten minutes earlier than normal.

3-6-03 - It was raining when I left New Brunswick, but that didn't affect the train, really. Got to work a bit early, despite the fact that it was sleeting by the time I arrived... The ride home was a bit more difficult, as there were two or three inches of snow on the ground by then. I left work 45 minutes earlier than usual, yet only arrived home about fifteen minutes earlier...

3-5-03 - The rain only caused a minor delay this morning on the train, still got to work on time. I couldn't make my usual 6:27 or the 6:32 train back home, though, and so I had to ride the 6:49. Darnit!

3-4-03 - OK, that's better. Made it to work and back with no notable delays. Of course, maybe that's because I've just received the link for the third of New Jersey Transit's e-Panel surveys... Heh-heh-heh.

3-3-03 - Tanjit!!! I got to the train station too late for the 6:48 this morning, the 6:58 arrived three or four minutes late, and then it stayed immobile at Elizabeth for five minutes while they tried to fix a gate or something. End result: late to work again. Grrrrr... And while I got on the earlier 6:08 train on my way home (as opposed to my usual 6:27), a medical emergency on board another train stopped at Metropark caused us to arrive at New Brunswick twenty minutes later than my normal time, instead of ten minutes earlier as anticipated. Y'know...

2-28-03 - Everything on schedule on the way to work and on the way back. The way it's supposed to be...

2-27-03 - Apparently, it wasn't just the back end of the train; I boarded nearer to the middle this morning, as usual, and it was still jam-packed with people, and I had to stand the whole ride again. Made it to work early again, though, so... And I worked late again, but the buses and trains pretty much behaved on the way home, too.

2-26-03 - OK, I don't know if it's because I boarded the train nearer to the back end this morning or if it was just an especially crowded morning, but I had to stand the entire way to Newark. Well, I still made it to work early, so I can deal, and we actually arrived back in New Brunswick two minutes early this evening.

2-25-03 - I'm probably jinxing myself by saying this, but it almost looks like we're back to a regular routine. Heh-heh... Everything went smoothly in the AM, and in the PM, too!

2-24-03 - The 6:48 was running just a bit late this morning, late enough for me to get on it, but not late enough to cause me to miss the 7:45 bus. Whew! And the ride home was completely on schedule again. Keep it comin', NJT!

2-21-03 - Missed the 6:48 again, but at least the 6:58 was on time, both at New Brunswick and at Newark, so I made it to work on time. And finally I arrived back in New Brunswick at my usual time. Maybe the trains are returning to some semblance of normality.

2-20-03 - Frak! Once again, I missed the 6:48 this morning, and the 6:58 was six or seven minutes late arriving. It pulled into Newark ten minutes late, though, which of course kept me from making the 8:00 bus. The 8:30 showed up, conveniently enough, at around 8:43, and I strolled into work at 9:50 AM. This Scheiße has got to stop...! I stayed late at work again, and as a result finally got on a train that arrived at Newark when it was supposed to, and was only two or three minutes late getting to New Brunswick.

2-19-03 - The 6:58 showed up two or three minutes late, not so bad... but it made it to Newark five or six minutes later than usual, and caused me to just miss the 8:00 bus again. So, late to work once more... Darnit! On the return trip, the 6:32 local train showed up at Newark at 6:35, ten minutes before the 6:27 did. Since I couldn't insert myself into the sardine-can 6:32 anyway, I waited, and the 6:27 finally got me into New Brunswick twenty minutes late.

2-18-03 - Well, yesterday a state of emergency was declared in New Jersey, as a result of the overwhelming (one to two feet, depending on where you were) amounts of snow piled on the state, so the Company was closed and I didn't have to try public transportation. This morning, however, was still hellacious. The Northeast Corridor trains were running on a Saturday schedule, of which I was not aware, so I had to wait for 40 minutes at the platform to get on an extremely overcrowded train; I was standing back-to-back against a blonde for a while. They canceled the scheduled stops between Edison and Newark's Penn Station because no one else would've fit on the train anyway, but we still moved painfully slowly. The PATH trains were running every fifteen minutes instead of every five, but there was one waiting as I arrived, so that was OK. The 9:00 AM bus showed up five minutes late, so I finally made it to work at 10:15. Grrrrrrr... The bus and PATH got me to Newark in the evening in time for the 6:29 train, which even arrived on time; however, I've seen dead turtles move faster than that train did, and so I didn't arrive in New Brunswick until around 7:35.

2-14-03 - All OK on the rails and the bus this morning. Evening was all right, too.

2-13-03 - Missed the 6:48 this particular morning, but the 6:58 and my subsequent hops experienced no issues of note. On the way home, however... I stayed late at the office, and the 83 bus I was waiting for showed up around fifteen minutes late. Then the PATH train got stuck behind another one that had broken down, so I missed both the 7:29 train I'd figured I'd easily make, and the 7:47. Y'know...

2-12-03 - Lincoln's Birthday is not a holiday as far as New Jersey Transit is concerned, so the schedules were all normal today. No problems getting to work in the morning... I arrived at Newark remarkably earlier than usual this evening, in plenty of time for the 6:08 train, in fact. Unfortunately, the Amtrak train that arrived at track 4 ahead of my train had door problems, and so was held up and therefore held up the 6:08. Still, I got to New Brunswick a couple of minutes early...

2-11-03 - Had the day off from work, just 'cos.

2-10-03 - Juuust made the 8:48 to Newark, and everything was fine on the way to work. Wow, am I really experiencing a turnaround at New Jersey Transit? The past few weeks seem to have been much better than November and December were... I didn't go right home after work, but went into Manhattan instead to see Aimee Mann, so I caught the 11:51 PM back to New Brunswick, and just made that one, as well. Good thing, because at that time of night, if you miss a train, it's generally an hour or so 'til the next one.

2-7-03 - I have no idea how New Jersey Transit is treating its riders today; we've got several inches of snow on the ground already, it's still coming down, and the roads aren't navigable yet, so my housemate Barbara convinced me to stay home this morning.

2-6-03 - Thought I'd just missed the 6:48 this morning... but it was running two or three minutes late, so I made it after all. Woo-hoo! I stayed late at work, and though the bus I planned to ride showed up about ten minutes late, I did still make the 8:29 PM train home as anticipated.

2-5-03 - Just missed getting on the 6:48 this morning; oh, well, the 6:58 worked out OK, and I got to work on time once more. Got back to N.B. two minutes early again, though...

2-4-03 - I was preparing for the worst when I heard the announcement chime as I headed up the stairs to the train platform this morning; luckily, the delay was on the Trenton-bound side, and I got to work on time yet again. Ha-ha! I left work a few minutes later than usual, though, and so had to get on the 6:32 train to New Brunswick, a local train as opposed to my usual 6:27 express. Even though they depart Newark only five minutes apart, the 6:32 arrives in New Brunswick almost twenty minutes later. D'oh!

2-3-03 - Pleasantly surprised to find no delays on the way to work again, and to actually arrive home in New Brunswick two minutes earlier than usual.

1-31-03 - Early train to work again, and normality on the way home.

1-30-03 - Grrrrr... I was late to work this morning, but it wasn't New Jersey Transit's fault. It was the fault of the idiot who ran across the road in front of Barbara's car this morning as she was taking me to the train station. She dutifully (if grumblingly) stopped, to avoid hitting him... and was promptly rear-ended by another car. So, after all the hoopla, I caught the 7:32 train, which is actually an Amtrak and not an NJT train; my monthly pass was still valid on it, and the only major difference was that I couldn't get a seat. Oh, well. At least the way home was OK.

1-29-03 - Early train again... and I actually got the 6:08 going home again, but only because it was running about five minutes late. Still, it got me to New Brunswick about five minutes earlier than I'd normally have gotten there.

1-28-03 - Well, I managed to get on the early train again this morning, and I even caught the 6:08 PM train home from Newark, instead of my usual 6:27!

1-21-03 - No trains or buses for me the next few days, Barbara's lent me her car...

1-20-03 - Why is the 6:48 AM train arriving a minute or two early (and departing early as well) on occasion lately? I just missed it this morning and last Friday as well, and that's most annoying. The 6:58 was on-time, and made it to Newark in time for me to make the 8:00 bus. Only the buses are running on holiday or Saturday schedules today, so there was a 7:55 bus instead, which I also just missed. Ugh. I think we could find a better way to celebrate the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King's legacy than to make public transportation even less convenient than usual. Well, Babs picked me up at work this afternoon, so at least I didn't have to deal with it on the way home.

1-17-03 - The train arrived in Newark a few minutes late this morning, just enough to cause me to miss the 8:00 bus and have to wait for the 8:30, thereby making me late for work. Ah, well, it was a nice run while it lasted... The ride back was OK, though.

1-16-03 - Goooood train... niiiiiiiice train... even if it was a few minutes late on the way home.

1-15-03 - Early train in again... but this time the train going home was a few minutes late. Ah, well.

1-14-03 - Made the early (6:48 AM) train this morning, so I got to work early. And incredibly enough, the 6:27 PM train on the way home arrived in New Brunswick around three minutes earlier than scheduled.

1-13-03 - Saw an old Warner Bros. cartoon on Saturday morning where Bugs Bunny hops (pun intended) on a train, into a car inhabited by hobos who look and sound like Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton. My experiences on the train are never that much fun...  :::sigh:::   Well, at least everything was on time this morning. I caught a delayed 6:08 train back to New Brunswick, which got me there a few minutes earlier than the 6:27 would have.

1-10-03 - All good in the morning... in fact, I caught the earlier train and got to work early. All good in the evening as well.

1-9-03 - "Are we there yet? Are we there yet?" No morning delays... My usual bus to Journal Square in the evening never showed up, however, and as a consequence the following bus was jam-packed with odoriferous, yammering people. Woo-hoo! And the 6:49 train was a little late arriving in New Brunswick...

1-8-03 - Nothing to report this morning... I actually managed to catch the earlier train on the way home, because it was running a few minutes late, so I arrived in New Brunswick six or seven minutes earlier than usual.

1-7-03 - No problems this morning, either. Well, the train was a bit sluggish out of Linden and Elizabeth, but we still got to Newark on time. No such luck going home, though; I ran late again myself, and caught the bus after the one I usually take, but the 6:49 train out of Newark arrived in New Brunswick about ten minutes late.

1-6-03 - Smooth sailing on the way to work... I ran late coming home, but that was my fault, not New Jersey Transit's.

1-3-03 - Surprise, surprise... Even with the lousy weather out, the train and the bus were on time this morning. In fact, the bus was running a little ahead of schedule! And I got home no more than five minutes later than usual, so... not bad.

1-2-03 - Good way to start the new year... no delays to report this morning! Didn't stop me from ripping New Jersey Transit a new orifice in the second of four quarterly surveys in which I'm participating, however. The ride home was also on time.

12-28-02 - After being dropped off at Newark Penn Station, I took a train home, and it was quite punctual. Yippee...

12-27-02 - I went to the office this morning, though since we're technically closed, I wasn't in a rush. Still, the train and the bus were very timely. The bus to New York this afternoon arrived on time as well, though the DeCamp bus to Nutley was a few minutes late. Can't blame NJT for that, though, no matter how I try...

12-23-02 - I caught the earlier train this morning, as it's our last day at work until the New Year (well, I'll be stopping by the office on Friday to catch up on some techie stuff), and all was well. I ended up staying late, but the bus and the train both behaved quite nicely on the way home, too.

12-20-02 - Some light rain didn't stop New Jersey Transit from getting me to work on time this morning. The ride back to N.B. was fine, too.

12-19-02 - All quiet on the Jersey front this morning. The evening train was beset by lighting problems, and was delayed at the Newark platform for a few minutes while they tried to get the lights back on, but we only arrived five minutes late at New Brunswick (though they hadn't fixed the problem by the time I disembarked).

12-18-02 - Finally, an explanation (of sorts)! When I got to the platform this morning, there was an announcement made about the 6:48 train running 15-20 minutes late; obviously, my 6:58 was delayed as well. The announcement didn't make any mention of why the train was late, but once I'd boarded the delayed 6:48, it was announced that another train had broken down on the tracks, causing the other trains to pileup behind it. Was it so difficult to tell us? At least the 6:48 still got me where I needed to go in time... Got home fine in the evening.

12-17-02 - Wow, I could get used to getting in on time in the mornings... Anyway, I didn't go straight home after work, but the bus and the trains all behaved themselves on the way to Newport Centre and then home.

12-16-02 - Another good day for commuting in New Jersey, both morning and evening. Maybe the averted strike by Manhattan Transit Authority workers had some kind of positive effect on New Jersey Transit. Maybe not. The evening commute was good, too.

12-13-02 - Nothing to report this morning, either. Don't think this is going to sweeten my responses on the survey, though! And the ride home, an hour and a half earlier than usual, went well, too.

12-12-02 - No problems to report this morning, either. Is that the "Twilight Zone" theme I hear...? The ride home was fine, too. But maybe now I know why things have been running so well these past few days; I was E-mailed the link to the second of New Jersey Transit's series of customer surveys this afternoon. Guess they wanted everything to be OK before they had people rate them...

12-11-02 - And yet another morning of mass transit efficiency... I'm getting scared. This could mean that we're building towards a monumental delay somewhere. The train was only four minutes late this evening, though, even with the downpour, so that wasn't it.

12-10-02 - Woo-hoo! Another morning where the 6:58 train and the 8:00 bus meshed smoothly. In fact, I got to Journal Square two or three minutes earlier than usual...! Going into New York by bus at night, however, proved to be time-consuming, but then it is the holiday season. The Coach USA/Suburban bus that Barbara and I took home from the City unexpectedly took us on a detour on the highways around Newark and Elizabeth; I think the driver may have been a little confused...

12-9-02 - Got a very early start this morning and made the 6:33 train, which was running right on time, as was the 7:30 bus. The 6:27 PM train back home was, needless to say, several minutes late.

12-6-02 - Everything was fine this morning; caught my regular 6:58, got to Newark in time for the PATH that got me to Journal Square in time for my 8:00 bus. This is the way it's supposed to be... 'Course, I got home a bit later than usual, but... oh, well.

12-5-02 - It was already snowing a bit heavily when I left this morning, but the 6:58 showed up more or less on time. Of course, it arrived in Newark just a few minutes late again... so I was late to work, again. Y'know... And why is it that NJT doesn't provide any kind of enclosed waiting area at Journal Square? We have to wait for our buses at the platforms, which are covered but still exposed to the cold and the wind. Well, I left work early again, and the commute home wasn't nearly as bad as I'd expected.

12-4-02 - OK, why is it that yesterday, when it was colder out, the trains ran smoothly, but this morning all trains out of Trenton were delayed near Princeton Junction due to a switch failure? I had to wait for the 7:15 train, which originates at Jersey Avenue in New Brunswick, and then made some (but not all) of the local stops along the way, driving one man to shout in dismay. A pretty young woman sat down next to me, but I wasn't feeling well enough to try engaging her attentions. The train actually deposited me at Newark only about five minutes later than the 6:58 normally would, but it was late enough that I missed my 8:00 bus by three minutes or so, so... late to work again. At least the ride home was OK.

12-3-02 - So far so good... made the early train again, and everything was running on time. I left work early, as I wasn't feeling well, and got home exactly when I'd figured I would, too.

12-2-02 - Another banner day. Caught the earlier train in the morning, and so got to work early, and everything went well in the evening, too. Whatever had been causing the holdup on the way into Journal Square in the evenings last week seems to have been cleared up. I hope.

11-29-02 - Didn't go to work today, it being Black Friday, but I did ride the rails to visit Jon in Clifton, and there were no delays.

11-27-02 - Well, we had a little snow on the ground this morning, but I made the earlier train again, and I'm pleased to report that both it and the bus ran normally. Whew! The ride home was smooth, too, though I think that might've had to do with the fact that there were less people on the road (and the trains) than usual at rush hour.

11-26-02 - Caught the earlier train again... I actually prefer making the earlier train and getting to work a bit early, so that worked out well. The way home sucked, though, as the 83 bus showed up 20 minutes late, and I got home 25 minutes later than expected.

11-25-02 - The earlier train was running two or three minutes late this morning, so I was able to make that instead of my usual train, so I arrived at work a little earlier than usual today. A nice change from the 20% on-time rate that the train (and, therefore, I) experienced last week. And while it was close, I did manage to get home at my regular time this evening. Woo-hoo!

11-22-02 - I don't use the word 'hate' much; I reserve it for truly hellacious people, places, and things. So when I say that I'm starting to hate New Jersey Transit... I hurt my already mysteriously sore ankle running for the earlier train this morning. Needless to say, I missed it. But that was OK, because my regularly scheduled train showed up at its regularly scheduled time. Unfortunately, several times between Linden and Newark, it seemed to take a catnap at the station, and so I once again got to work late. Four mornings this week! That's pathetic, and I'm bubbling over with resentment right about now...

11-21-02 - Dunderheads. The train just stopped for two minutes on the tracks between Rahway and Linden this morning, and it was announced that we had a 'stop light.' That's ever so informative... And then we dragged the rest of the way to Newark, so I was late to work. Again. Urghhh... While I'm ranting, let me mention the lack of seating on the Northeast Corridor trains during both the morning and evening rush hours. It's apparently been this way for at least months, and more likely years, so why isn't anything being done about it? Invariably, on my way home in the evening, I'm standing in the space between two train cars, with other passengers, looking at a sign sternly telling us that passengers are not permitted to ride there. Maybe we're supposed to cling to the roof. At least the evening commute went smoothly...

11-20-02 - Again with the lateness. The 6:58 showed up around eight minutes late, once again causing me to arrive almost half an hour late to work. When everything's running smoothly, I get off the Northeast Corridor train in Newark around 7:43 AM, get right on a PATH train, disembark at Journal Square, and go upstairs and get right on the 83 bus, which gets me to work just before 9 AM. When the Northeast Corridor train is delayed by just a few minutes, I miss the 8 AM bus and have to wait for the 8:30, which makes a huge difference. Grrr... And then of course the bus to Jersey City was late again this evening as well. 25 minutes late getting home again.

11-19-02 - The ride in was OK this morning, but the 83 bus showed up late and then had to fight traffic all the way to Journal Square, arriving almost fifteen minutes late. Turns out the 6:32 PM train was running eight (not five) minutes late, so I managed to catch that instead of the 6:49, and got home 25 minutes later than usual...

11-18-02 - Off to a bad start: the 6:58 AM train arrived approximately five minutes late, and then lazily strolled its way into Newark Penn Station a bit later than that.