Monday, September 7, 2015

Bus commuters sure to love story from press releases

North Jersey-bound commuters at the Port Authority's midtown Manhattan terminal waiting for an NJ Transit bus during the afternoon rush hour in March.

Large, free-standing touch screens have been helping commuters find their bus platforms at the midtown Manhattan terminal for well over a year, but The Record's transportation reporter hasn't noticed.


The Record has a long tradition of lazy transportation reporters dating to Dan Sforza, who spent most of his time writing about "highways of the future."

Later, when he was promoted to the pivotal job of assistant assignment editor, Sforza directed one of his successors to write at least two major stories that seemed to argue against the extension of NJ Transit's light-rail line to Englewood and Tenafly.

Meanwhile, for nearly a dozen years, Road Warrior John Cichowski has written about every form of transportation -- bicycles, scooters and cars, to name a few -- except trains and buses.

And no reporter at The Record has ever been enterprising enough to actually ride the trains and buses, and report on the lack of seats and rush-hour crowding at Manhattan's Penn Station and midtown bus terminal.

Attend meetings

The paper's transportation reporters religiously attended meetings of NJ Transit's board, but weren't aware of the crisis at the Port Authority's midtown bus terminal until angry letters to the editor started pouring in last year.

Today, the lead story on the Local front warns riders on 55 bus routes, including 40 NJ Transit lines, their platforms and floors will change on Tuesday "as part of an effort to reduce delays" (L-1).

The story makes no mention of large, free-standing touch screens on the first and second levels of the bus terminal that have been helping commuters find their departure gates for well over a year.

Today's front page

The story on the lower left of Page 1 today -- on the transportation-funding and pension crises in New Jersey -- seems like an afterthought.

And the reporter wastes no time in casting the two issues as a partisan political battle between Democrats and Republicans.

This allow The Record to once again skip its responsibility to report what outcomes would be good for the people of New Jersey. 

Most of A-1 today is devoted to the obligatory end-of-season story about the Jersey shore.

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