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NJ TRANSIT RESPONDS TO CURRENT HIGH PRICE OF GASOLINE

Takes steps to encourage use of system, welcome new customers

May 2, 2006
NJT-06-056
Contact: Dan Stessel 973-491-7078

NEWARK, NJ — NJ TRANSIT is taking several steps to encourage use of its buses, trains and light rail lines and make using the system easier for new customers during the current period of high gasoline prices.

We cannot allow rising gas prices to compromise the ability of working men and women to fulfill their daily responsibilities and live their lives,” said Governor Corzine. “NJ TRANSIT offers a practical alternative to driving, and we must do everything possible to make such alternatives more accessible and convenient for commuters.”

“In the current environment of high gasoline prices, we have an obligation to do whatever we can to provide customers with relief,” said Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Chairman Kris Kolluri. “At the direction of Governor Corzine, we are taking new steps to encourage the use of public transportation and to make it easier for new customers to leave their cars at home.”

The NJ TRANSIT system is currently experiencing record high demand on all modes (rail, bus and light rail), with ridership in the three-month period ending March 30 up nearly six percent over the same period last year.

NJ TRANSIT first began tracking ridership gains attributable to the cost of gasoline in summer 2005. At that time, the Corporation began taking steps to meet and anticipate ridership demand, including purchasing and leasing new equipment and adding seats to bus, rail and light rail services.

NJ TRANSIT took additional steps this week to help new and current customers coping with the high cost of gasoline, including adding or adjusting capacity to match ridership demand. Since January, 160 bus trips have been added on 46 routes across the system, and over the next several months, 101 more trips will be added on 31 routes.

On the rail system, NJ TRANSIT has reallocated passenger coaches to provide seats where they are needed most. New multi-level rail cars, which offer 15-20 percent more seats than the current fleet, will be placed into service on the State’s busiest routes starting this fall.

In addition, NJ TRANSIT has taken the following steps to help new customers:

  1. Encourage use of public transportation by offering a free round trip to the 26,000 NJ TRANSIT customers who receive their monthly tickets by mail. The round trip will arrive with June monthly tickets and enable friends and family members to discover the ease and convenience of using NJ TRANSIT.

  2. Redeploy personnel to provide additional customer service operators at NJ TRANSIT’s toll-free call center (800-772-2222).

  3. Create a new section of www.njtransit.com to serve as a one-stop trip planning and schedule resource for new customers who want to try the system.

  4. Add a “Parking Capacity Tracker” that will be updated daily to show customers where parking spaces are available on the NJ TRANSIT system.

For complete information on NJ TRANSIT services, customers may visit www.njtransit.com or call 1-800-772-2222.

NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 827,000 weekday trips on 240 bus routes, three light rail lines and 11 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 162 rail stations, 55 light rail stations and more than 17,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.