Port Authority Bus Terminal Overcrowding

Steve Burns/WCBS 880

Your Commuter Horror Stories

November 16, 2018 - 12:23 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- No one was immune from the nightmarish commute during the first snowfall of the season that caught many people off guard. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie went on Twitter complaining about his five hour 40 minute trip from Parsippany to his home in Mendham, to which someone derisively retorted that Christie should probably not be the one complaining about traffic tie-ups -- a reference to the Bridgegate scandal.

There's no shortage of horror stories from commuters. Here's a look at some:


One caller to the WCBS 880 traffic center had Broadway tickets to see "To Kill a Mockingbird" but she never made after spending 11 hours stuck on the Major Deegan Expressway. She left her house in White Plains at 3:30 p.m. and was still sitting on the Deegan at 11:30 p.m. She saw a truck carrying portable toilets and it occurred to her that the driver could make a fast buck if he rolled them out. 

By Friday morning the Major Deegan still looked like a parking lot. Many vehicles ran out of fuel. Others overheated. 

Greg Wilson said on Twitter that a typical 45-minute drive from Queens to Riverdale took him 9 HOURS.

Lori who lives in Upper Passaic County said, "This was indeed the longest commute home ever for me. 6 hours and 48 minutes. Sitting on the roads in Jersey for hours gives you some insight into the idiots of the world. Like the guy walking around with a tray of coffees for his car. Then the people wearing all black getting out in the middle of the road to see what’s going on. Um it’s snowing you dumb (BLEEP)!"

A woman on Twitter named Gen posted, "I’m in complete standstill traffic & there is a school bus full of kids right in front of me. It’s 10pm. These kids need to get home. This is insane NYC."

Another Twitter user said it took five hours to go 14 miles in New Jersey.

Our friend Chris Wragge at CBS2 is handing out kudos to people at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation who helped him get to work Friday morning. He tweeted they gave him a ride because Uber wanted $143 for a 15-block ride.

WCBS listener John Carpenter tweets, "6 hours NYC to Paramus nj. 5 hours on Riverside drive, 42 st to GW Bridge."

Tracy Mitch tweeted: "I spent six hours on the New Jersey transit bus last night going from the port authority to New Jersey. It was hell on earth. Standing room only, and two guys almost got to a fistfight about two hours in! Needless to say, I am driving in today!"

Andrew Kluft tells WCBS 880's Peter Haskell that it took him nearly 10 hours to go from Harrison to Livingston -- a trip just shy of 13 miles.

"I got to my car at 3 p.m. and it's now 10:40 at night and I'm nine miles from my house," he told Haskell. "I didn't realize until I got onto Route 280, which is the major artery for me to get home, where it was bumper to bumper. I don't understand how the state of New Jersey wasn't able to clear the roads.... It's mindnumbing to me that the state of New Jersey has not been able to clean the roads, salt the roads."


Carissa Abraham, who works at Entercom New York and spent years as a traffic reporter, spent five hours walking in nearly knee-deep snow to get home. She posted on Twitter, "I have NEVER seen something like this before. The roads are horrendous. I am still WALKING home because of #NJTransit not being able to drive up ROUTE 22."

"I happened to leave work early, I caught the 2:15 NJ Tranit bus and once we got to 22 in Hillside all of a sudden the bus could not get up one of the hills," Abraham told WCBS. "He parked the car and said we're just going to stay here until it starts to rain and clear up. At this point it was 3 o'clock and it wasn't supposed to start raining until 8 so there was about four of us we got off the bus and said we're just going to have to walk. From that point in Hillside on 22 to my home is a five-mile walk. I walked the entire way."

During the height of the evening rush hour, the Port Authority Bus Terminal was essentially shut down as hundreds of riders desperately tried to find a way home. The second and third floors were closed down as mobs of people waited for buses delayed by the storm to make their way to the terminal. 


The weather is causing problems for casting agents. Several shows that shoot in the New York City area put out a rush call for union background actors because the scheduled actors can't get to the scene. Among those shows are "The Enemy Within" and "Blue Bloods."