One of New Jersey Transit’s busiest lines has been suspended indefinitely after a centuries-old tree fell on tracks in Maplewood and crushed crucial power infrastructure amid Monday’s night powerful windswept storms.
The tree toppled onto the tracks on the Morris and Essex line, which serves tens of thousands of customers daily and is home to four of NJT’s top 20 stations by passenger volume. It also took out the catenary system, leaving debris everywhere.
Those who ride the line daily said there was little communication from the transit agency about replacement buses to help commuters get to their destinations Tuesday. Confused about options, many resorted to Uber, sending prices soaring.
The 6-mile ride from Maplewood to Newark Penn Station, for example, was about $60 at one point Tuesday. That’s triple the usual fare. And there’s not even a hint at this point about when service might be restored. The damage was extensive.
The less busy Gladstone line was also affected.
NJ Transit said tickets for both lines are being cross-honored on its Raritan Valley and Montclair-Boonton rail lines, as well as its bus and private-carrier services. Customers are advised to allow for additional travel time.