NEWARK, NJ, December 11, 2002 – The NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors today took another step toward supporting Governor James E. McGreevey’s commitment to improving New Jersey’s transportation network by purchasing the Corporation’s first-ever bi-level railcars.
The purchase of 100 bi-level railcars – which will be paid for with funding from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey secured by Governor McGreevey – represents a 20-25 percent increase in seating capacity compared to traditional rail cars.
“For our Smart Growth policy to succeed, it is critical that we continue to shift commuters from our highways and onto mass transit,” said Governor McGreevey. “These new bi-level rail cars are an important step, in a series of many that we are taking to ease congestion, decrease pollution and improve the quality of life for all of New Jersey’s citizens.”
“The purchase of these new bi-level cars is proof of this administration’s commitment to making mass transit a welcome option and not a last resort,” said NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman and State Transportation Commissioner James P. Fox. “But the fact remains that we need 100 more cars and securing the necessary funds will be one of our top priorities in the months ahead.”
“This bi-level railcar purchase paves the way for the next generation of capacity improvements promised by Governor McGreevey for the NJ TRANSIT rail system,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George D. Warrington. “These new cars are a smarter and more efficient use of existing track space, allowing us to squeeze more seating capacity – and more comfortable seats – into the existing rail infrastructure.”
Today, the Board awarded a contract to Bombardier Transportation of Canada not to exceed $250 million for the purchase of 100 bi-level railcars. The cars will be delivered to NJ TRANSIT between fall 2005 (prototypes) and March 2007 – timed to meet anticipated ridership growth over the next decade. The contract also allows for future options to purchase at least an additional 176 bi-level rail cars – based on funding availability.
The new bi-level cars have been custom designed for NJ TRANSIT to ensure that they can operate anywhere on the NJ TRANSIT system, including through the tightly configured Northeast Corridor Hudson River tunnels. The bi-level cars will provide added and more comfortable seating:
Each of the bi-level coach cars will be equipped with more spacious 2-2 seating – designed with input from NJ TRANSIT passengers. The cars also will provide passengers with the latest in amenities including push button doors, automated destination signs, automated station stop announcements and state-of-the-art heating and air conditioning systems. All of the cars will be fully compatible with NJ TRANSIT’s existing rail fleet, infrastructure, facilities and stations.
NJ TRANSIT has aggressively been purchasing new rail equipment to pave the way for the Corporation’s new rail initiatives. NJ TRANSIT is already operating half of the 200 Comet V cars and 12 of the 29 ALP-46 high-horsepower electric locomotives. In September 2001, the Board of Directors agreed to purchase 33 high-horsepower diesel locomotives, which are currently being manufactured for NJ TRANSIT and will be delivered over a nine-month period beginning in spring 2004.
NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 752,600 daily trips on 238 bus routes, two light rail lines and 11 commuter rail lines.