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New Jersey Transit may not run the train that brings 10,000 people to MetLife Stadium when the New York Giants meet the Pittsburgh Steelers on Nov. 4 as it continues to assess damage from Hurricane Sandy.
The National Football League team’s practice facility and $1.6 billion stadium were undamaged during the storm, which caused flooding and blackouts in the metropolitan area, and the team’s weekly schedule is unchanged, Giants spokesman Pat Hanlon said in an e-mail. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello declined in an e- mail to comment.
A decision on the rail service may be made late tomorrow or Nov. 3, N.J. Transit spokesman Nancy Snyder said yesterday. The game is scheduled to begin at 4:25 p.m. local time Nov. 4.
“We’re thinking about everything right now,” Snyder said in a telephone interview. “We’re trying to recover from the storm, and at this point it is too early to make that call.”
Hurricane Sandy, at 900 miles (1,448 km) wide the biggest tropical storm in Atlantic Ocean history, produced life- threatening surges in a region with 60 million residents and caused what may add up to billions of dollars of damage. N.J. Transit rail service was suspended at 4 p.m. Oct. 28 in advance of the hurricane’s arrival and remains shut down. The system’s hub at Hoboken remains closed after it was flooded.
Coach USA, which runs buses to the stadium from New York City’s Port Authority, is expecting its service to run as scheduled, spokesman Mike Alvich said yesterday. The company will monitor N.J. Transit’s status as the week progresses, and may add buses, he said.
“There could be a possibility of putting out some extra buses in case the trains don’t run, but we won’t know that probably up until the last minute,” Alvich said in a telephone interview. “If we see a need, we’re going to try to meet that need.”
The Coach USA service costs $5 each way and takes about 20 minutes, depending on traffic. Alvich said buses will run continually to the stadium starting at 1 p.m. until 4 p.m., and depart one after another until 30 minutes after the end of the game.
The New York Jets, who share MetLife Stadium with the Giants, are off this week. They don’t play at home until Nov. 22 against the New England Patriots. The Giants’ next home game is Nov. 25 against the Green Bay Packers.
N.J. Transit hasn’t yet determined whether there was damage to the 2 1/4-mile track that runs from Frank R. Lautenberg Rail Station in Secaucus, New Jersey, to the stadium in East Rutherford, according to Snyder. She said it was also too early to determine whether it would try to run a bus service if the trains weren’t available.
The rail line cost $213 million and opened in 2009 for the final season of Giants Stadium, which since has been torn down. Fans can park at Secaucus or transfer from trains that run through New Jersey and New York’s Penn Station.
The trip from Secaucus to MetLife Stadium is $2.55 each way and takes about 10 minutes, while the 30-minute trip from Penn Station costs $5.25. An average of 10,000 people uses the rail service for NFL games, according to Snyder.
The defending-champion Giants (6-2) have not lost since Sept. 30 against the division-rival Philadelphia Eagles, while the Steelers (4-3) have won their last two games. The two teams have combined to win four of the past seven Super Bowl titles.
-- With assistance from Aaron Kuriloff in New York. Editor: Michael Sillup, Larry Siddons.
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