Initial commuter relief plan addresses rail car shortages, increases replacement parts availability and accelerates hiring
Trenton – Governor Phil Murphy and Acting Department of Transportation Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti today announced a plan to provide NJ TRANSIT commuters both short and long-term relief from rail car shortages and overcrowded conditions.
Last month, Governor Murphy directed an audit and performance review of NJ TRANSIT but since those changes cannot be executed until the review is complete, Governor Murphy also directed Commissioner Gutierrez-Scaccetti to find and begin implementing immediate improvements to NJ TRANSIT. These short-term changes will be enacted before long-term improvements and audit recommendations can be phased in.
“These are the changes that we can take today to begin to alleviate the constant stress and anxiety experienced by NJ TRANSIT riders associated with catching their trains,” Governor Murphy said. “While the audit is a vital step toward ensuring that NJ TRANSIT becomes a world-class transportation agency, these changes will start to help riders in the short and long term and provide relief for the hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans who use NJ TRANSIT every day.”
NJ TRANSIT has experienced shortages of rail equipment due to a number of issues including the availability of long-lead and custom manufactured replacement parts, and the ongoing installation of Positive Train Control (PTC). This has resulted in trains operating with fewer cars than usual with commuters experiencing overcrowded conditions.
“We understand the increased frustrations rail commuters have been feeling the past several weeks and this plan will start providing them with some relief in the short term,” said Acting Department of Transportation Commissioner and Chairwoman of NJ TRANSIT’s Board of Directors Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti. “I want to assure customers that this is just the beginning of our effort to restore NJ TRANSIT to the national transportation leader it has been in the past.”
The Initial Commuter Relief Plan will implement the following changes at NJ TRANSIT within the coming weeks:
NJ TRANSIT will retain outside professional services to assist Rail Operations in evaluating internal processes to monitor and manage equipment levels needed for service.