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N.J. mass transit riders battle fears

(The following story by Carly L. Baldwin appeared on the Jersey Journal website on July 22.)

JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- Despite increased police vigilance in some transportation centers, mass transit riders seem resigned to the fact that it would be difficult to prevent a London-style terror attack in this country.

"It could happen here," said Jersey City's Joe Harris, who commutes daily into Manhattan. "PATH could not prevent someone from walking onto a train with a bomb attached to them."

"I do believe that they are going to attack New York next, but there's limits to what the police can do," said Joe Gandarillas, a Montclair resident waiting at Newark Penn Station to board an Amtrak train to Washington, D.C.

"We may have heightened police here, but trust me, so did London. I saw the news today and I actually got scared to get on this train."

Many commuters said they'd like to see more law enforcement personnel on the trains - both in uniform and undercover.

"I am scared every day I ride the PATH," said Arlene Davis as she waited on the Journal Square platform for a Newark-bound train. "There is no way of searching for bombs, no security. They are spending money on everything else, why not our safety?"

Kian Johnson, who rides NJ Transit every day from his home in Matawan and then takes the PATH into Manhattan, said,"in the end, the only thing that works is if everyone is constantly conscious of their surroundings."

Friday, July 22, 2005

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