18 February 2011

Smoking and NJ Transit (Again)

Smoking on the train platform at Long Branch continues to be a problem; NJ Transit has refused to take constructive action. I've just written this letter to the American Lung Association of the Mid-Atlantic:
I’m writing in the hope that you can help with suggestions for constructive action.

I regularly take the New Jersey transit train from New York City to Long Branch, NJ, and though there are no-smoking signs along the platform at the Long Branch Station, people routinely smoke under them.

I’ve asked train attendants to remind the smokers they’re not permitted to smoke on the platforms; they say it’s not their job. I’ve asked the station attendant to make announcements reminding riders that smoking isn’t permitted on the platform; sometimes she does. I’ve asked smokers myself to stop, and received very rude responses.

I’ve contacted the NJ Transit customer service office. Their official response: “Call the police when you see someone smoking.” They also suggested that I not speak to any smokers myself.

(It should be irrelevant – everyone is entitled to clean air – but I’m asthmatic, with severe allergy to smoke of all kinds, and recovering from a bout of pneumonia last month.)

Do you have any contacts at NJ Transit? Any suggestions about how to draw more attention to this issue and get NJ Transit to act constructively?

Thank you very much for your time.

My next step might be the local papers. Anyone reading this have another idea?

Update: Nine minutes after I sent the above message, I got this reply:

Thank you for your email. Let me start some conversations about this. I appreciate you making me aware of the situation.