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NJ TRANSIT OFFERS COLLEGE STUDENTS A FREE WEEK OF TRAVEL

New student monthly pass program announced

August 18, 2004

NJ-04-005

NEWARK, NJ – Students will be able to ride NJ TRANSIT buses, trains and light rail vehicles for free September 8–15 when they show a valid college ID, Executive Director George D. Warrington announced today. The offer is part of NJ TRANSIT’s effort to inform students of the benefits of using public transportation.

Also today, Mr. Warrington announced a pilot program with seven universities to offer a discount to students who purchase their monthly pass online. Through the program, students will receive 25 percent off NJ TRANSIT’s already discounted rate for monthly passes. The new program expands the existing student rail pass program to include bus and light rail services.

“The week of free travel gives students the opportunity to experience how easy it is to use NJ TRANSIT to reach thousands of destinations throughout the State,” Mr. Warrington said. “Our hope is that once they become a part of the workforce, students will already know the benefits of using public transportation for their daily commute. We’re proud to partner with these universities to extend the benefits of public transportation to their students.”

The program was developed to increase student awareness of NJ TRANSIT’s services, to guide them in discovering off-campus activities that they can reach using public transportation, and to alleviate parking shortages at many universities. Participating institutions include Seton Hall University, Montclair State University, Drew University, Rutgers-Camden, Rutgers-New Brunswick, Rutgers-Newark and William Paterson University.

NJ TRANSIT plans to open the program to all colleges and universities Statewide next year.

NJ TRANSIT will work with participating universities to develop customized web pages with information on transit services near campus and links to the Itinerary Planner web page on www.njtransit.com. Students from participating colleges will soon be able to purchase their discount passes online.

Through the end of September, NJ TRANSIT customer service representatives will be available on participating college campuses to provide students with information on transit services, schedules and fares.

NJ TRANSIT is the nation’s largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 752,600 daily trips on 240 bus routes, three light rail lines and 11 commuter lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 162 rail stations, 49 light rail stations and more than 17,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.

"College students without cars can sometimes feel isolated or hindered and are not familiar with what mass transit has to offer,” said Seton Hall University Vice President for Student Affairs, Laura Wankel. “This new NJ TRANSIT partnership program will help students easily explore New York City, visit friends and family in other towns, or just go to their favorite mall. It will also allow many to discover a valuable life skill for their future,” adding the university approached NJ TRANSIT to offer an online student monthly pass discount.

"The NJ TRANSIT-University partnership is a terrific example of separate organizations cooperating to serve multiple and important public purposes,” said Montclair State University President, Dr. Susan Cole. “The partnership makes higher education more accessible to the people of New Jersey, while simultaneously promoting the use of public transportation. This kind of idea is good public policy, and NJ Transit and George Warrington get ‘A’ grades for making it happen."

“Here at Drew University, we're excited for the opportunity to get our students exploring New Jersey and New York City through public transportation,” said Geraldine Muir, Associate Dean of Student Life Drew University. “It’s convenient, safe, and a great way for a large group of friends to travel together. With the free week of travel offer for our students this fall, Drew University is creating a series of programs and events that will encourage them to explore destinations that are easily accessible by NJ TRANSIT, and become confident patrons of public transportation.”

"Through focus groups, we found that many of our students were unaware of how easy and affordable it is to use public transportation, either to commute to campus or to reach cultural and recreational destinations from our institution," William Paterson University Associate Vice President and Dean of Student Development John Martone said. "Our students will now be able to get quick information about NJ TRANSIT right from our own web site. And, the 25 percent discount offered to our students through this partnership will provide them with the opportunity for tremendous savings on their transportation costs."

“Most college students, especially those at public institutions, are watching their budgets closely,” said Gerald Massenburg, Assistant Provost for Student Life, Rutgers-Newark. “The NJ TRANSIT partnership program will help students stretch their money farther, whether they’re commuting to campus, to work, or enjoying the recreational and cultural activities in this region. ”