People helping people as they get from here to there

What you said about the Oct 30 NJT derailment

October 31st, 2007  |  Published in Uncategorized

The irony is that the news story on this event that was easiest for me to find came from the Long Island newspaper (Newsday). But nonetheless, we asked Clever Commuters for feedback on how our service worked…and here is what we heard:
[some responses edited for clarity and privacy]

Actually the whole situation worked in my favor! When I arrived at Secaucus from Newark the delayed…express was waiting there, and they had it make all the local stops! Got home faster than I would have under normal circumstances!

Don’t re-disseminate NJT’s info. If people want it they can sign up for NJT’s alerts.

– and in a related note –

I assume most people that use this service already get NJT alerts. It would be great if these were not also forwarded to CleverCommute members to avoid duplication.

Are archives of alerts by branch/week available on the web? These could serve as a measuring tool for rail performance.
[Note from Clever Commute: We’re working on that]

The NJ Transit web site had nothing useful @ 6:00 pm. The 6:43 departure from Penn St was very slow. An onboard announcement said that “we’d be moving faster after Broad St ” but we didn’t.

For [my] line, I received only one Clever Commute e-mail – at [at time] too late to be helpful [for me]. Also, no messages about [other trains] that were canceled.I subscribe to the NJT alerts and I didn’t receive even one alert yesterday!

For those of us signed up for NJ Transit bulletins via email directly from NJ Transit, we found out that Clever Commute is about 15 to 20 min quicker in updating problems.

I did not receive any e-mail alerts about this problem from NJ Transit. The electronic signboards in Secaucus did not show the correct information, although there was one announcement over the loudspeaker that was not specific enough. I signed up for CleverCommute about 2 weeks ago and I am delighted with it. The only suggestion I have for improvement is to remind and encourage users to send e-mail as soon as they know about a problem.

NJ Transit was horrible in the information that they provided last night.  I think I received one email alert before I left work. No mention of [my line]. I went to the website and it said that the same lines were experiencing 20-30 minute delays. And that was it. No further email announcements. Thank goodness for clever commute and its users. I was able to get information on my connection and what was happening, which cut down on the frustration level significantly!
Not all the feedback about Clever Commute was positive (or immediately realistic…). But we’ll close with these 2:  

I signed up for Clever Commute after that great article in the NYTimes a couple of weeks ago, thinking it would actually be a useful alternative to the NJTransit alerts. But since I’ve started receiving it, I can’t for the life of me figure out who the audience is and what it’s good for. Why in the world would I care that an earlier train was late, if there is no systemwide explanation attached? Seems to me this is mostly for housewives to know when they’re husbands are getting home and not for the commuters themselves. What am I missing here before I unsubscribe? Any help would be most appreciated!

[Note from Clever Commute: We’ll reach out to this person 1:1…and we’ll sum it up with these notes from yet another rider:]

1. On those awful mornings where you don’t know when or if the train is coming, good early intel to let you know you might as well go back home to bed.
2. On those awful evenings where the trip home is late, crowded, and slow, identify ways to get pizza (Chinese, etc) delivered at an intermediate station to turn the pain in the butt into a party!

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