NJ TRANSIT continues to work hard to make your travel experience a safe and enjoyable one. That includes redoubling our efforts to clean and sanitize our fleet and facilities in the battle against COVID-19. Among the more recent safety enhancements: installation of plexiglass partitions throughout our network; upgrading and frequently replacing HVAC system filters; adding cleaning shifts to sanitize frequent customer touch points, and testing new technology.
On February 3rd, we launched a pilot program at Port Authority Bus Terminal (PABT) on the No. 126 bus route, using technology to expedite boarding and create a touchless customer experience. On weekdays, between 3:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., No. 126 bus route customers are having their mobile app or paper tickets and passes scanned by employees with handheld scanners near the stairs and escalators at the PABT before boarding. Then, when their bus arrives, customers can board immediately and go directly to their seats. NJ TRANSIT will evaluate how the pilot program performs before determining if it can be expanded to other routes departing the PABT.
NJ TRANSIT has also been participating in a regional initiative called “Mask Force.” NJ TRANSIT employees have been joining their counterparts at the New York MTA, Port Authority of New York & NJ, SEPTA and PATCO once a month to distribute free face masks to customers, and remind them about the need to wear their masks correctly. Keep an eye out for our Mask Force representatives and their red shirts (pictured), who can provide you with a mask, hand sanitizer, wipes and other COVID-fighting items.
Finally, we’ve selected four companies to pilot state-of-the-art technology to protect the health and safety of customers and employees. The companies were selected during a global search – part of a COVID-19 Response Challenge issued by the Transit Innovation Partnership’s Transit Tech Lab. The multi-week partnerships are with:
- Vyv, which uses proprietary LED anti-microbial light to reduce bacteria and microbes from surfaces.
- Knorr Merak, which uses a three-stage air-filtration and purification system to mitigate COVID-19.
- Piper, which provides video analytics and collects real-time passenger counts from trains and platforms for integration with mobile apps.
- Strongarm, which develops wearable technology that emits physical distancing alerts and can be used to collect data for contact tracing.
After testing is complete, solutions that have proven to be successful may be chosen for an expanded, year-long pilot deployment.
As a reminder, the recently introduced federal directive from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), along with Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 165, require wearing a mask on all trains, buses, and light rail and Access Link vehicles, and in all stations and terminals. They are also required on platforms and at bus stops where social distancing is not possible. Failure to comply may result in denial of boarding or removal. Customers refusing to wear a mask are in violation of federal law and may be subject to penalties.