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Our Heroes

For those of you who may have suffered the loss of a family member or friend due to COVID-19, we extend our sincere sympathies and condolences to you.

The NJ TRANSIT family has been among those grieving the loss of friends and loved ones. Some were your Bus Operators, Conductors, other frontline workers or those who worked behind the scenes to keep our system running. Here is a small tribute to each of them.

Tiran Billups – Tiran was hired as a Bus Operator at Hilton Garage in Maplewood in 1996. He worked his way up to union leadership, becoming President of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 819.

Lucien Cadeau – Lucien was a Bus Operator out of Hilton Garage in Maplewood for 21 years, primarily operating local bus service in Essex County. He was a frequent recipient of our perfect attendance award.

Keith Cruz – Keith was a Rail Operations maintenance-of-way machine operator who helped us keep our rail system in a state-of-good-repair. He was often called upon to train others because of his proficient ability to operate specialized equipment.

Philip Dover – Philip was a Bus Operator who spent his entire 23-year career serving customers on bus routes that originate at Orange Garage in Essex County. He was well-liked by his customers and peers, and always had a positive presence at the garage.

Joe Hansen – Joe was a Conductor who served customers for more than 20 years, most recently on the Raritan Valley Line. Joe was a customer favorite and helped to mentor newly hired train crew members.

Ray Kenny – Ray was our Sr. Vice President/General Manager of Rail Operations whose railroad career spanned more than five decades. He was leading the effort to restore our rail system as a national leader in the industry.

Luis Marulanda – Luis was a Bus Operator out of Meadowlands Garage in North Bergen, driving buses between Bergen and Hudson counties and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York. He was known for his warm smile by customers and coworkers.

Oscar Morales – Oscar was a Bus Operator from Oradell Garage in Bergen County, serving customers for 21 years. The routes he operated primarily traveled between Bergen County and New York.

Gale Neblett – Gale enjoyed a 32-year clerical career at NJ TRANSIT, working in different departments throughout the company, most recently as an Accounting Clerk in the Rail Verification Department.

Kendel Nelson – Kendel worked as a Bus Operator for 28 years at Oradell Garage in Bergen County, and served as a trainer when NJ TRANSIT recently ramped up its hiring of new Bus Operators.

Aulysse Paul – Aulysse started his career at NJ TRANSIT in 2001, gradually becoming a Bridge Operator. He trained newly hired employees and was an aspiring musician.

Shanda Stokes – Shanda was a Depot Master at Wayne Garage where she helped manage day-to-day operations. She was affectionately known as “Miss Hollywood” for her love of fashion and bling.

Alfonso Villamarin – Alfonso worked for NJ TRANSIT as a Bus Operator at Orange Garage for nearly two decades, primarily serving customers on the Nos. 21 and 34 routes. He frequently received perfect attendance awards.

Most of these employees were deemed essential workers and had been serving on the frontlines during COVID-19. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families and friends. They will be missed.

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