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news release

P.O. Box 004
Trenton, NJ
08625
Contact: Jayne O'Connor
609-777-2600
Michael Klufas (NJ Transit)
609-491-7078

RELEASE: June 22, 2000

Office of the Governor

Governor Launches New Bike Rack Program
on Buses for New Jersey Transit Passengers


Governor Christie Whitman today again demonstrated that New Jersey is great to see from the seat of a bike when she announced that riders can now "Rack 'n'Roll" their way to work or any other destination - and all they need is bus fare and a pair of wheels. The Governor today was joined by NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman James Weinstein and NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Jeffrey A. Warsh.

The Governor said that this program, which has already put back racks on the front of all 262 NJ Transit suburban and transit buses in south Jersey, will make it easier than ever for bike riders to commute to work and access our state's many recreational biking opportunities.

"By expanding bicycling opportunities for all our citizens, we're making New Jersey a better place in which to live, work and raise a family. And by continuing to work toward saving an additional one million acres of open space, it will mean more of such opportunities for New Jersey so that our children and their children can have an even better tomorrow, " said Gov. Whitman - after taking a bus ride followed by a bike ride along the Burlington City Promenade Trail [in Burlington City] with some local students to try out the new program.

The "Rack 'n' Roll" initiative, explained Gov. Whitman, allows bicyclists in selected areas of southern New Jersey to travel to their nearest bus stop, secure their bicycles on racks attached to the front of buses, and ride those buses either to their final destination or to a location where they can conveniently continue their trip on bicycle.

"It's part of my overall effort to make New Jersey a truly bicycle-friendly state," said Gov. Whitman who pointed out that again South Jersey is leading the way. "After we've fully evaluated the success of the program in south Jersey, we will be ready to consider expanding it to the northern part of the state," she added.

"This program is friendly to both NJ TRANSIT customers and to the environment," said Weinstein. "Customers can get their exercise and save themselves from parking hassles. By using bicycles rather than cars, they help reduce pollution levels. It's another way NJ TRANSIT is making life easier -- and more fun -- for its customers."

"Rack 'n'Roll' proves that NJ TRANSIT is responding to its customers' needs," said Warsh. AThis innovation lets us knock down another barrier for our bike-riding customers. They can now ride their bikes to buses which take them to Atlantic City, Camden, Cherry Hill, Philadelphia, Trenton, and other destinations, as well as points along the Jersey shore."S

Customers who bring their bicycles on "Rack 'n'Roll" buses should remove any necessary items before mounting the bike on the rack and securing it. Only two bicycles per rack are permitted; if both spaces are full, "Rack 'n'Roll" customers will need to wait for the next bus.

Racks have been installed on 262 30- and 40-foot buses operating on routes in Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Mercer, Ocean and Salem counties. (A full list of routes is attached.)

All buses that operate in South Jersey are now equipped to carry bicycles, either on bike racks on in luggage compartments. About 200 bike rack-equipped NJ TRANSIT buses are on the road at one time, according to Warsh.

Passengers using other NJ TRANSIT services will follow current rules for transporting bicycles:

C Those traveling on larger commuter buses can store their bikes in luggage compartments.

C Train passengers can bring collapsible bicycles on board at any time, while standard bicycles are permitted only on trains with handicapped accessibility, except during rush hours (5:00-9:30 a.m. inbound and 4:00-7:00 p.m. outbound). Bicycles are not permitted on trains on major holidays. On the Atlantic City Line, bicycles are permitted at all times.

C Hudson-Bergen Light Rail passengers can bring their bicycles aboard at all times except rush hours (5:00 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.). Bikes must be kept in the vehicle=s low-floor vestibule section.

Gov. Whitman made a commitment in her Second Inaugural Address to build 2,000 miles of bike paths and trails in New Jersey over the next 12 years - and already more than 800 miles of those new trails are in various stages of planning and development. More than $11 million was recently awarded to more than 90 New Jersey towns for bicycle and pedestrian projects. For instance, projects in Burlington County received over $1.3 million for bikeways.

The Burlington City Promenade Trail is a one-mile existing bike path that will be part of the Delaware River Heritage Trail and is used by pedestrians and bicyclists. Meanwhile the Delaware River Heritage Trail is a proposed multi-use route along both sides of the Delaware River that will be used for recreation and commutation. The New Jersey portion of the project has received a Community Millenium Trails designation - a national initiative of the White House Millenium Council. It was awarded to 2,000 trail projects nationwide on June 3, 2000 in celebration of National Trails Day.

NJ TRANSIT is the nation=s only statewide public transportation system providing bus, rail and light rail services for 352,000 daily commuters on 178 bus and light rail routes and 12 rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 161 rail stations and more than 17,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.

 
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