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PREPARATIONS UNDERWAY FOR FIRST WINTER STORM OF 2004-2005 SEASON

Customers advised to give themselves extra time

December 19, 2004 2:00 p.m. EST
NJT-04-086

NEWARK, NJ – NJ TRANSIT is gearing up to be "the way to go in snow" for more than 764,000 daily customers. After months of winter weather planning, the Corporation is prepared for what could be Mother Nature’s first winter storm of the 2004-2005 season.

Dozens of additional customer service and Emergency Response Team (ERT) personnel are on standby this weekend, in the event of inclement weather affecting the Monday morning commute.

On the railroad, NJ TRANSIT personnel have inspected and winterized more than 750 switches and switch heaters, 964 passenger coaches, 140 locomotives and 12 moveable bridges. Overhead power systems and signals have also been inspected and tested. Crews have checked heating systems, ventilation, thermostats, weather stripping and electronic components, as well as changed filters and fuel used in locomotives from a summer to a winter blend.

NJ TRANSIT is equipped with two jet-engine snow blowers that are used to remove ice and snow from tracks and critical switching areas. In addition, all locomotives are equipped with snowplows to clear snow from the tracks.

NJ TRANSIT Rail has 20,000 pounds of salt on hand with the ability to obtain an additional 100,000 pounds, if needed.

Meanwhile, bus maintenance personnel have been checking heating systems, engine fluids, tires, windshield wipers, doors and airbrake systems on NJ TRANSIT's 1,900 buses. Snow fighting equipment has been readied and ice/snow-inhibiting supplies have been restocked for winter to keep NJ TRANSIT’s 52 bus loops, terminals and lots cleared throughout the state. NJ TRANSIT Bus Operations has 500 tons of bulk salt available throughout the state.

On NJ TRANSIT’s three light rail systems—the Newark City Subway, Hudson-Bergen Light Rail and the River LINE—crews are readying snowplows to clear station platforms and testing switch heaters. Additional operations and maintenance employees have been placed on alert.

Should severe weather arrive in the overnight hours, NJ TRANSIT personnel will be deployed throughout the system to assist customers and resolve any unexpected weather-related issues.

Customers are advised to listen to broadcast traffic reports before leaving home or the office to determine if there is a delay affecting their trip. Customers may also obtain up-to-the-minute system information online at www.njtransit.com, and have customized information sent to their pager or cell phone by signing up for "My Transit" alerts.

Customers are strongly encouraged to give themselves plenty of extra time to get to the station. Use extreme caution when walking on exposed sidewalks and station platforms and when boarding trains and buses.

For assistance, customers may call NJ TRANSIT at 1-800-772-2222.