Commuter Complains About People Sleeping on Station Seating

A commuter contacted Patch to share his concern about people sleeping on benches at the Summit station.

A local commuter who uses the Summit train station emailed Patch to share a complaint about people sleeping on the waiting area benches in the morning.

I have taken this [complaint] to New Jersey Transit and the NJ Transit Police. Sometimes the notice is ignored, sometimes they call the Summit police, and they sometimes walk through the station, but never ask anyone to leave or get up.

Once, they did ask to see everyones' train ticket, but did not ask those without one to leave. The situation gets much worse when the weather gets colder. More and more people camp out in the station overnight.

Today, there were 7 people sleeping on the benches in the station and there were no available seats for me, at 4:50am this morning. And I pay $284 per month for my train pass.

In addition, one of the unfortunate souls was awake playing his raido very loudly and expounding racial slurs and violent threats to all in the station.

The photos attached where from just this morning (Friday, Sept. 21) but go there any morning at 4:30am and it looks like a homeless shelter. 


— John Dyon


What do you think? Is there a problem with people sleeping in the train station waiting area? If so, what should be done about it? Share your thoughts in the comments box below, or email Summit Patch your thoughts.

Summit Resident September 24, 2012 at 08:13 AM
Dear John Dyon, Unfortunate souls? How sweet. Unless you are going to give these people a place to stay you should shut your mouth and stand until your train comes. Is it really that big of a deal? You'll probably be sitting behind a desk all day anyway, so consider that your exercise. Anything can happen in a blink of an eye, so be careful of the karma you create for yourself. Have a little compassion. Sincerely, SR
Anonymous September 24, 2012 at 08:15 AM
WoW..You definitely need a life lesson my friend..Sylvester Stallone himself was homeless he had to sleep at stations and bus stops. Anything can happen to anyone in this world..it's life. i guess being rich takes the mercy out of you..you probably sit behind the desk anyway it's not like you are in the marines. im ashamed to breathe the same air as people like you. no humanity plain cold. like i said you need a real good life lesson.
DS September 24, 2012 at 10:23 AM
John - what's your solution to your problem? Focus on yourself not others and be glad you have a job. And remember what goes around comes around. Seems like some people will always come up with something to complain about - makes them feel superior to others less fortunate.
M&Gmom September 24, 2012 at 12:30 PM
Previous commenters are right...the problem isn't the individuals sleeping in the train station...the problem is that these unfortunate folks HAVE NOWHERE ELSE TO GO.....have compassion for these people who need a warm place to sleep....instead of complaining/calling/emailing NJTransit or the SummitPatch, how about calling social services/local church organizations/etc to seek help for these people?....what is NJTransit supposed to do? Basically they'll push them out into the street but then you'll probably be complaining about the people loitering in front of the Starbucks and how it's ruining the enjoyment of your mocha latte. Unfortunately sounds a little like our GOP candidates' attitudes... I do agree that there could be a safety issue if there are obvious signs of mental illness...especially since so many school children commute to local schools via Summit Train Station...but again, wouldn't social services or the Summit PD be the correct alternative to NJTransit? How about being "our brother's keeper" instead of kicking him to the curb?
DS September 24, 2012 at 12:40 PM
@M&Gmom well said and agree wholeheartedly.
Sanford Barbash September 24, 2012 at 02:53 PM
oh yea, and then Sylvester Stallone grew up to become a draft dodger. Anonoymous - you are such a wonderful human being...If only the world can be more like you, anonymous. You are definately going to great places in the afterlife. You are so wonderful, tell us more oh wonderful and giving anonymous person.
Sanford Barbash September 24, 2012 at 02:54 PM
My solution, DS, is to put them on a bus and send them all to your house. What's your address?
Sanford Barbash September 24, 2012 at 02:58 PM
Dear Summit Resident - I don't know who you think you are telling someone to shut their mouth. Maybe you have dictatorial aspirations. Good luck with that! I can't wait for the announcement of our new Dictator the great "Summit Resident". We will all bow to you for the privelide of not having to shut our mouths oh great and wise "Summit Resident".
Sanford Barbash September 24, 2012 at 03:02 PM
M&G Mom - Just provide us with your home address and I'll be sure to post it all over the Summit station so that these people can sleep at their "brother's keeper" house.
Sanford Barbash September 24, 2012 at 03:26 PM
So says you, DS
Camilo H. Smith (Editor) September 24, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Hey folks, lets keep this civil. No calling out for addresses or name calling. That violates the terms of service here on Patch. Thanks for the spirited conversation on this topic, however.
Summit Resident September 24, 2012 at 04:53 PM
Sandford Barbash if you are not going to provide a substantial comment about the situation, why comment at all? We we asked about our comments, thoughts, and opinions on the situation; of which we provided. You're standing in as an instigator for absolutely no reason (unless you are John Dyon, and this is your way of defending yourself I suppose). On another note, M&Gmom, you said it perfectly. I agree; if anything is to be done it should entail being our brother's keeper.
M&Gmom September 24, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Unfortunate that problems/differing opinions cannot be discussed in an adult manner~~without veiled threats and intimidation. Not going to take the bait, however, and will keep my end of the discussion constructive. Hope your day improves, Mr. "Barbash".
Sanford Barbash September 24, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Once again, Summit Resident is telling others that unless your opinion is in line with his/hers, your opinion is not "substantial" and you should keep your mouth shut. Thanks Summit Resident. You would be perfect in the Putin administration. They could call you the silencer.
PJ September 25, 2012 at 03:07 AM
...and let's leave Stallone out of this too. What is he? Expendable Too?
Hilltopper81 September 25, 2012 at 03:40 AM
Actually M&GMom, they DO have several places to go. The problem is that most homeless shelters have rules that some folks are not willing to follow. Among them are no tolerance of drugs or alcohol. The result is that some of the people you find in the train station can be dangerous. I'm not trying to kick anyone to the curb; just to a place where they will be safer as will users of the train station. The train station is the primary responsibility of the NJ Transit Police, But Summit Police often respond to a crime or potential crime in progress as well as medical emergencies. Ask any Summit Police officer how many calls they get at the station. Not the kind of incident that makes the local news, but it does happen and quite often.
EWZ2011 September 25, 2012 at 08:41 PM
I feel for this people who for one reason or another end up sleeping at the train station, at the same time I also think that the safety of the NJ Transit users should be a matter of consideration. This problem is not new, I used to take the train to go to school many years ago and I was always afraid for my safety. What is a small girl to do when there is a huge man yelling out obscenities, among other odd behavior. This situation is complex, the homeless people need help and support, but the Summit residents deserve to feel safe.
CAMERON September 26, 2012 at 01:57 AM
Very sad homeless must sleep. But also has been a drug buyer hangout. Also very sad that you can't sit and wait for your train that I think is unfair. Also very loud music
m m December 06, 2012 at 11:54 AM
I see these people they need a s place to sleep and to be warm they dont cause anyone any trouble i have never seen them approach anyone.. There by=ut for the grace of God go any of us a little charity and empathy ..... peace be with you all
B December 11, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Why don't they camp out at the municipal building? Why, because they can't. It's up to NJ Transit to enforce the rules at their station. I agree though, they need to find somewhere else to park themselves. They smell and are very loud. :)


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