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For Immediate Release: October 26, 2016

NEWARK, NJ — NJ TRANSIT continues to advance its implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC) in order to meet the 2018 deadline with the lease authorization of radio spectrum.  The approval of the lease authorization today by NJ TRANSIT’s Board of Directors allows NJ TRANSIT to execute a lease agreement with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) for the last component of radio spectrum needed for NJ TRANSIT’s PTC system.


“This is another milestone in our commitment to upgrading our current safety systems to Positive Train Control by the federal deadline at the end of 2018,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Steve Santoro.  “We are aggressively tackling the challenges posed as PTC is being designed, developed and deployed simultaneously.  Acquiring the needed radio spectrum was one of the larger hurdles which we have now crossed.”   


NJ TRANSIT will lease the 218MHz radio frequency spectrum from the MTA for a period of 50-years, at a total cost not to exceed $725,000.  The authorization will allow for the acquisition of the needed spectrum for the northern and eastern portions of NJ TRANSIT’s system.


The radio spectrum provides the wireless link which allows information to pass between the rail vehicles and wayside equipment, ensuring that the onboard PTC system is getting the most accurate and up to date safety data.  NJ TRANSIT must have its own radio bandwidth or spectrum so transmissions do not overlap or interfere with any others in the region. 


In April 2016, NJ TRANSIT’s Board of Directors authorized the purchase of radio frequency spectrum from PTC-220, LLC for the southern, central and western portions of the NJ TRANSIT system.    


In addition to acquiring the needed radio frequency spectrum, NJ TRANSIT is also in the process of securing the hardware and software components of the PTC system including thousands of transponders and 124 radio “towers” along 326 route miles in addition to the radios and antenna equipment for 440 locomotives, EMUs and cab cars. 


Positive Train Control is a federally mandated train control technology designed to prevent train-to-train collisions, over-speed derailments, incursions into work zone limits and train movements across switches in the wrong position.  As part of that requirement, the PTC systems must maintain interoperability between commuter rail, freight and Amtrak trains and their associated wayside components. 



NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 938,500 weekday trips on 12 commuter rail lines, 254 bus routes, three light rail lines and through Access Link paratransit service. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 166 rail stations, 62 light rail stations and more than 19,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.