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news release

P.O. Box 600
Trenton, NJ

Contact: Joe Fiordaliso

RELEASE: April 21, 2004

Air quality campaign launched this summer to combat ozone pollution

Employers Must Register To Qualify For $2 Round-Trip Tickets

NEWARK, NJ, April 21, 2004 – In celebration of Earth Week, NJ TRANSIT will offer many New Jersey employees a discounted commute on days when high levels of ozone pollution are predicted this year.

The Corporation’s OzonePass gives New Jersey-based employers the opportunity to offer their employees a $2 round-trip ticket for use on any bus, train or light rail line on high ozone days. The ozone season runs from May 17 through September 10, 2004.

“Just last week, Gov. McGreevey called on the President to stop polluters from damaging New Jersey’s air quality by establishing uniform clean-air regulations,” said NJ Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman Jack Lettiere. “It’s programs like OzonePass and high-ozone alert days when the NJDOT curbs jobs that exacerbate the ozone like cutting grass along highways and painting bridges, that show the Bush Administration that we mean business.”

“Offering discounted tickets to use during high-ozone days, coupled with our plan to reduce particulate emissions on our buses, are key to our goal of meeting Gov. McGreevey’s new clean air initiative,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George D. Warrington. “In fact, with our new bus purchases and modifications to the existing fleet, we’ve already reduced particulate emissions by 77 percent over the last 10 years,” he said.

“The McGreevey Administration has taken major steps forward to reduce health threatening air pollution in our state by adopting new policies to clean up power plants and automobiles, two of the state’s largest source of air pollution,” said Dena Mottola, executive director of NJPIRG Citizen Lobby. “Of course with our air as polluted as it is in New Jersey, we must take advantage of all the opportunities we can find to reduce air pollution. Air pollution is the third highest risk factor for premature death in our state and a major contributor to our state’s asthma epidemic.”

NJ TRANSIT was the first commuter system to introduce the OzonePass concept in 1999. Last year, 21 organizations bought 5,960 OzonePass tickets.

OzonePass is sold in bulk quantities to New Jersey employers who will either sell or give the passes to their employees. The day before unhealthy ozone pollution levels are predicted, employers will be alerted by fax or e-mail. The employers will then notify their employees who can use the OzonePass to commute on NJ TRANSIT instead of driving to work and contributing to the anticipated unhealthy pollution levels.

OzonePass is available to members of the New Jersey Ozone Action Partnership, an organization of more than 500 businesses and organizations. As a partner, employers can purchase a limited number of passes at the start of the ozone season. To register, employers should call (973) 491-7600 or send an email to ozonepass@njtransit.com.

Ground-level ozone pollution forms when car exhaust, fuel vapors and emissions from industrial sources are “baked” by the sun on hot summer days. Though New Jersey’s air quality has improved greatly over the last few years, ground-level ozone pollution continues to be a problem.

Buses and trains keep tons of volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides from New Jersey’s air. In fact, NJ TRANSIT’s new bus acquisition and replacement program and the use of low-sulfur diesel fuel has already contributed to a 77 percent reduction in particulate emissions. Encouraging more commuters to try transit instead of driving to work further reduces pollutants and improves the state’s air quality.

For more information on the OzonePass and/or the NJ Ozone Action Partnership, organizations can contact NJ TRANSIT at (973) 491-7600 or their local Transportation Management Association at (800) 245-7665.

NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing bus, rail and light rail services for 752,600 daily trips on 238 bus routes, two light rail lines and 11 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 162 rail stations, 29 light rail stations and more than 17,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.


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  Last Updated:  April 22, 2004