December 12, 2012
NEWARK, NJ – NJ TRANSIT announced today that full service on the Raritan Valley Line (RVL) will resume Monday, December 17, marking another milestone for customers in the transit system's return to normalcy after Hurricane Sandy.
The Raritan Valley Line has been operating on a modified schedule since the storm, due to continued infrastructure-related repairs and restorations. With NJ TRANSIT already operating more than 99 percent of its pre-Sandy rail service into New York Penn Station, the full service restoration of the RVL will bring NJ TRANSIT's rail service back to 90 percent of its pre-Sandy schedule. Click here for the Raritan Valley Line weekday schedule effective December 17.
Also today, NJ TRANSIT Executive Director James Weinstein reaffirmed the agency’s commitment to enhancing the transit system's resiliency to future superstorms, even as the agency continues to recover from Sandy's unprecedented damage.
“It is vital that we rebuild for the future, not merely settle for returning the system to its pre-storm state,” Weinstein said. “We have made tremendous progress restoring service to customers. Now, we have to plan wisely for the future simultaneously as we continue to repair bridges, electrical substations and other facilities.”
Although the transit system has returned to near normal for more than 95 percent of NJ TRANSIT’s daily customers, repairs will go on for a number of months. For example, two of the electrical substations that were submerged and destroyed by Sandy’s flood waters will take months to replace, as new substations have to be designed and built from scratch, a process that will take six to nine months.
Meanwhile, NJ TRANSIT is continuing its post-storm analysis and review, a standard agency procedure after any major storm or other incident that will help inform the future planning effort.
As part of this effort NJ TRANSIT has partnered with an outside consortium from Texas A&M University. Representatives from the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) are on NJ TRANSIT property and are supporting the initial review process, which will continue into the New Year. TEEX is based in College Station, Texas, and is funded by the United States Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA.) TEEX provides incident management and homeland security training for federal, state and local agencies, and assists in evaluations of incident response.
“We always look at storm planning and response to see what went right and what can be improved,” Weinstein said. “The lessons learned will inform NJ TRANSIT’s decisions on hardening transit assets for the future as well as further enhancing the agency’s storm preparation efforts,” he added.
Increasing transit resiliency has been a focus of recent hearings in the U.S. Senate and the state Assembly on Superstorm Sandy and her damage to the transportation network. NJ TRANSIT, under the leadership of Governor Chris Christie, is working with partners at the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), as well as federal and state representatives to seek funding for improvements that will protect transit infrastructure from hurricanes and other calamities.
“Money invested in storm-proofing now will save future taxpayer dollars, as well as ensuring that service disruptions in and following storms will be minimized,” Weinstein said.
“There is much that went right in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, and credit must continue to be given to the men and women of NJ TRANSIT who worked around the clock to restore our system under the most difficult of circumstances,” Weinstein continued. “However, there is much that we must learn from the impact of this super storm, particularly as we push to make our facilities, such as the 76.6 acre Meadows Maintenance Complex, more resilient against future storms.”
For more information on TEEX, please visit:
About NJ TRANSIT
NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 895,000 weekday trips on 261 bus routes, three light rail lines, 12 commuter rail lines and through Access Link paratransit service. It is the second largest transit system in the country with 164 rail stations, 61 light rail stations and more than 19,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.