Thursday morning saw an unexpected disruption in the transportation system as a bull managed to access the tracks at Newark Penn Station. This incident resulted in significant delays on NJ Transit and PATH trains, affecting the commute between New Jersey and New York City.
Although the bull was successfully removed from the tracks shortly after noon, the service disruptions persisted. NJ Transit reported delays of up to 45 minutes between Newark Penn Station and New York Penn Station in Manhattan. To accommodate affected passengers, rail tickets and passes were being cross-honored by PATH at Hoboken, Newark Penn, and 33rd Street stations.
NJ TRANSIT rail service is subject to up to 45 minute delays between Newark Penn and PSNY, due to Police activity near Newark Penn Station. NJ TRANSIT rail tickets and passes are being cross-honored by PATH and Hoboken, Newark Penn and 33rd Street New York.
Police activity: pic.twitter.com/XrtIEK5ZGH
— NJ TRANSIT (@NJTRANSIT) December 14, 2023
The unexpected appearance of the bull on the tracks prompted a response from the Newark Public Safety Department. Police were alerted to the situation around 10:46 a.m. and arrived at Frelinghuysen Avenue near Victoria Street, close to Newark Liberty International Airport. The bull was located behind a building, and members of the department’s emergency services unit, along with Port Authority police, successfully contained the animal inside a fenced lot without incident, according to Newark Public Safety Director Fritz Fragé.
Following the incident, Newark police announced that the bull would be retrieved and safeguarded by a local animal sanctuary. However, the specific sanctuary was not mentioned in the statement.
While PATH service between Newark and World Trade Center stations eventually resumed, there were residual delays that impacted commuters. The incident highlighted the challenges that can arise due to unexpected events in urban transportation systems and the importance of swift responses to ensure the safety of both commuters and the unexpected guests like the bull in this case.