Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 600
Contact: Paul Aronsohn
RELEASE: May 29, 2002
Governor Unveils Plan to Ease Rail Overcrowding
Immediate and Long-Term Solutions on the Horizon
(Newark) - Governor James E. McGreevey - flanked by State Transportation Commissioner James Fox, NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George D. Warrington and NJ TRANSIT's newest rail equipment - today unveiled a series of train improvements that will begin to ease overcrowding on the NJ TRANSIT rail system.
"We are making schedule changes, purchasing new rail cars and making better use of equipment and resources to improve the service that NJ Transit provides every day," McGreevey said. "For New Jersey and its people to thrive, it is essential for our mass transportation system to remain viable, reliable and secure."
The improvements announced today at Newark Penn Station include:
"This announcement demonstrates Governor McGreevey's commitment to develop a stronger transportation network and improve the quality of the commute for thousands of riders," said Fox. "I salute George Warrington for his quick action, leadership and vision, which is leading to measurable changes to the public transportation system."
- Three rail schedule changes over the next four months that will add 6,000 seats to the rail system on weekdays and 7,300 on Saturdays.
- A commitment of $250 million in funding from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to help NJ TRANSIT purchase 231 bi-level rail cars.
- Plans by the NJ TRANSIT Capacity Task Force to explore other management tools to maximize the NJ TRANSIT assets.
"Thanks to the hard work of the NJ TRANSIT Capacity Task Force, we are better managing our assets, translating into a much more efficient operation," added Warrington. "These noticeable changes will help our customers recognize they are getting more value for their investment.
"The Port Authority is pleased to help fund this important series of measures that will ease overcrowding for NJ TRANSIT passengers. By making New Jersey's mass transit system more efficient and more convenient, Governor McGreevey, Commissioner Fox and Executive Director Warrington are investing in a stronger economy for New Jersey and the entire region," said Jack G. Sinagra, Chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
NJ TRANSIT currently has 4,000 daily standees on the rail system, primarily between Newark and New York. One of Warrington's first actions since joining NJ TRANSIT on May 6 was to create the Capacity Task Force - one of five task forces that are in the process of reviewing NJ TRANSIT's business and strategic operations.
Standing in front of NJ TRANSIT's newest electric locomotive and coach car at Newark Penn Station, Governor McGreevey, Commissioner Fox and Executive Director Warrington unveiled the following initiatives:
June Schedule Change
On June 16, the number of standees will be cut in half - to 2,000 - when NJ TRANSIT implements a rail schedule change. The June 16 change includes adding 2,000 seats on the Northeast Corridor trains, primarily during the evening peak period. NJ TRANSIT will also add a new 10:40 p.m. Northeast Corridor departure from New York to handle late night crowds, including those attending sporting and entertainment events in the Big Apple.
August Schedule Change
On August 18, another rail schedule change will go into effect to address overcrowding on Saturdays. Four additional Northeast Corridor trains will begin operating on Saturday mornings and four additional Northeast Corridor trains will operate on Saturday evenings - adding 7,300 Northeast Corridor seats on Saturdays.
Fall Schedule Change
This fall, at the conclusion of NJ TRANSIT's popular supplementary rail service to the Jersey Shore, two morning peak period trains (2,000 additional seats) and two evening peak period trains (2,000 additional seats) will be added to the Northeast Corridor schedule. This schedule change - effective September 8 - will greatly reduce NJ TRANSIT's current standee problems.
Montclair Connection Service
On Monday, September 30, NJ TRANSIT will launch its new Montclair Connection rail service, which is being renamed the Montclair-Boonton Midtown Direct service. This service will utilize the rail corporation's new ALP-46 electric locomotive and Comet V coach cars, which were showcased at today's event. The service will provide 9,500 seats for the inauguration of this new service.
Bi-Level Rail Cars
Today's announcement also paves the way for the future purchase of bi-level rail cars, which have already been custom-designed for NJ TRANSIT to fit through the Hudson River tunnels. Tomorrow, the PANY&NJ Board of Directors is scheduled to vote on a $250 million commitment for the bi-level purchase. By early fall, the NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors expects to award a contract for the first phase of the purchase of 231 bi-level cars, which will be equipped with approximately 30 percent more seats than the new single-level Comet V coach cars (final bi-level car seat configurations are being determined).
When all of the bi-level cars arrive, the combined single-level and bi-level rail purchases will add approximately 33,000 seats to the NJ TRANSIT rail system.
Capacity Task Force
The service initiatives announced today are part of a series of immediate, mid-range and long-term solutions that the NJ TRANSIT Capacity Task Force - created by Warrington - will identify to ease capacity shortages on the Corporation's rail and bus system.
NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing Bus, rail and light rail services for 380,600 daily commuters on 238 bus routes, two light rail lines and 12 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 163 rail stations, 26 light rail stations and more than 17,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.
The following are available for distribution by electronic e-mail by calling NJ Transit at (973) 491-7078
- An artist's rendering of the bi-level car.
- Photos of the new ALP-46 locomotive.
- Photos of the Comet V coach car.