NEWARK, NJ, September 17, 2002 -- As part of NJ TRANSIT's new back-to-basics approach, the Corporation announced today that the Corporation is raising its cleaning standards on trains, buses and at rail stations.
In an overall effort to upgrade public transportation in New Jersey, the Corporation is placing a renewed focus on ensuring its customers enjoy a first-class commute, beginning with the cleanliness of its stations and equipment and the quality of the ride.
To reach that next level of cleanliness, NJ TRANSIT will phase in a new extraordinary cleaning -- or "E-Cleaning" -- program on its passenger equipment, and is developing new cleaning standards for train stations owned and operated by NJ TRANSIT.
"If we expect New Jerseyans to forego their automobiles so we can relieve congestion on our highways, it's imperative that our mass transit system be a welcome option, not a last resort," said Transportation Commissioner Jamie Fox. "That means trains and buses must be clean, on time and accessible -- our customers deserve no less."
"As we work toward elevating New Jersey's transportation network, we need to start by ensuring that our customers are getting value for their fares, and that begins with the aesthetics and quality of their commute," said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George D. Warrington. "Clean equipment and passenger facilities should be a basic business practice, one that will be evident as this project advances."
The new E-Cleaning program is already being implemented on buses and on a portion of NJ TRANSIT's rail fleet. During the next three months, E-cleaning standards will begin at rail stations.
Since coming on board in May, Executive Director Warrington has been taking NJ TRANSIT "back to basics," having the Corporation focus its attention on improved customer service, increased capacity, and core system improvements to enhance performance.
As part of the new stations standards process, the NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors today hired new contractors to elevate the level of cleaning and appearance at eight rail stations on the Northeast Corridor (NEC).
The Board awarded a contract to Bradford & Byrd of Freehold -- to clean its Princeton, Hamilton and Trenton train stations. Bradford & Byrd of Freehold would be responsible for all cleaning and janitorial services at the three stations and will perform the work according to the new quality standards. The Bradford & Byrd contract is for one year -- at a cost of $289,068 -- with two, one-year options for a total three-year cost of $896,100.
A second contract was awarded to TUCS Cleaning Service, Inc. of Orange -- to perform the same cleaning and janitorial services at North Elizabeth, Elizabeth, Metropark, Metuchen and Edison train stations. The TUCS contract is for one year -- at a cost of $187,740 -- with two, one-year options for a total three-year cost of $574,559.
Highlighted below are details of the new e-cleaning plan:
E-Cleaning means that all surfaces -- including the walls and ceilings -- on the equipment are scrubbed. Windows and seats are washed and wiped with a static-free cloth. E-Cleaning takes the daily "layover" cleaning treatment -- which occurs at the end of each day -- to the next level.
Last month, NJ TRANSIT implemented a new E-Cleaning cycle for its 230 Arrow III rail cars. As a result, those cars are receiving an intensive scrubbing twice as often compared to the old cycle. Under the new system, cars are cleaned every 45 days compared to every 90 days or less.
In October, NJ TRANSIT will begin E-Cleaning the remaining fleet of 482 Comet cars. At that point, the Comet equipment -- including the Comet I, II, III, IV and V cars, will be moved to the same rigorous 45-day cleaning schedule as the Arrow III cars.
All rail cars will continue to receive a general cleaning on a daily basis.
NJ TRANSIT's suburban, transit and cruiser buses have received an E-Cleaning -- meaning all interior surfaces -- once every 30 days. Under the new program, transit and suburban buses, which receive the most interior wear from passengers, will be E-Cleaned every 25 days. NJ TRANSIT's cruiser buses, which receive less interior wear, will remain on a 30-day cycle.
All buses will continue to receive a general cleaning on a daily basis.
NJ TRANSIT's back-to-basics program also includes other quality-of-ride initiatives including the proper operation and maintenance of heating and air conditioning systems on its bus and rail fleet. That commitment was underscored this summer -- one of the hottest and driest in history. Since June 1, 99.3 percent of Arrow passenger rail cars and 98.6 percent of Comet rail cars have operated successfully with air conditioning.
Bus operations boasted near-perfection as well, reporting one air-conditioning repair call for every 80,649 miles traveled from June 1 to August 19. Regarding in-service delays attributed to air-condition problems, the number drops to one in every 510,000 miles traveled. During the same time period, NJ TRANSIT buses have covered 18,192,876 miles. Overall, 99.7 percent of the bus fleet operated successfully with air conditioning.
NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 761,000 daily trips on 238 bus routes, two light rail lines and 12 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 163 rail stations, 27 light rail stations and more than 17,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.