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While You’ve Been Away

While You've Been Away, NJ TRANSIT has been hard at work making major improvements to your service. We've invested billions of dollars in infrastructure projects and innovated to find new ways to enhance your experience, all while running our full schedule of bus, train and light rail services safely throughout the pandemic. 

We've been focusing on six key areas and invite you to take a look below at the progress we've made.

We know these continue to be challenging times, but NJ TRANSIT has been hard at work while you've been away, and we're ready when you are.

Improving Service, Reliability & Safety

  • Continued to run full weekday service throughout the COVID pandemic.
  • FY2020 vs. FY2019 On-Time Performance - Improved for Bus, Rail & Light Rail Across the Board.
  • Introduced greater transparency with a public performance dashboard available on our website — complete with OTP, cancellations and a host of other performance data
  • We have fully restored our depleted ranks of engineers, with more than 390 active locomotive engineers.
  • We have hired more than 1,000 bus operators since 2018.
  • We continue to recruit, hire and train for critical frontline positions, including locomotive engineers, conductors and bus operators.
  • Accelerated Positive Train Control testing to achieve full certification on December 18, 2020 — despite only being 12% complete toward an interim December 2018 installation milestone in January 2018.
  • Began deploying the first of the 110 new articulated buses — the first expansion of the bus fleet in a decade.
  • Over 300 new buses received and deployed over the past 2 years.
  • Purchased 113 new multi-level rail cars — the first of which are expected to arrive in 2023.
  • First of 25 new dual-mode locomotives arrived in January 2021, continuing our efforts to improve mechanical reliability and operational flexibility.
  • Newer buses and trains have improved customer amenities and improve reliability by reducing mechanical failures.
  • In coordination with Hoboken, relocated bus stops on the No. 126 Route, added capacity and enhanced customer experience.
  • Increased weekday train service at our Avenel station by more than 40 percent, running a full schedule of weekend service there for the first time in 34 years.
  • Added, extended, or provided enhanced bus service on 100 bus routes over the past two years including the 1, 86, 119, 123, 126, 128, 158, 166, 409, 412, 413, and 772 Routes.
  • Upgrading RiverLINE vehicles' engines that are expected to improve reliability for customers and reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by at least 57 percent and lower particulate matter by 90 percent.
  • Increased weekday peak period service on Newark Light Rail's Broad Street extension to allow trains to operate every 10 minutes to improve train connections and convenience.
  • Enhanced weekend rail service at five stations.
  • Improved procurement times, giving operations personnel the parts and materials they need to keep the fleet running and reliable for our customers faster than before
  • Made our Children's Rail Safety Program for schools available virtually.
  • Developed a lifesaving partnership with Waze which identifies the location of grade crossings on the Waze app. The new feature automatically alerts drivers that they are nearing a railroad crossing and reminds them to proceed with caution.

Enhancing Our Customer Experience

  • Made significant improvements to our customer communications infrastructure, systems and services to deliver timely service information, including:
    • 24/7/365 staffing of Customer Service & Communications operations to alert customers about service impacts.
    • Expanded social media staffing hours to provide service updates via popular social media platforms.
    • Piloting new, high-quality digital station announcement systems at five stations.
  • Made numerous upgrades to the NJ TRANSIT Mobile app, which currently has a 4.8 rating out of 5 with over 68,000 reviews:
    • Completed redesign to improve functionality and access to information.
    • Introduced customized push notifications with service information.
    • Added "How Full Is My Ride?" feature to inform customers about crowding conditions on vehicles.
    • Launched "Arrival Alerts" to provide notifications when customers begin arriving at their destination.
    • Introduced a new Map My Ride feature to allow customers to track the locations of their buses and trains in real-time.
    • Added Light Rail single-ride tickets for purchase.
  • Launched NJT Rewards program to allow riders to earn points for their NJ TRANSIT ticket purchases, redeemable for special offers with businesses throughout the state.
  • Introduced Transit to Trails program, an online map application which easily identifies over 60 national, state and county parks throughout New Jersey that are accessible by NJ TRANSIT service.
  • Piloting a new FLEXPASS ticketing option to accommodate customers whose commuting patterns have changed due to COVID-19
    • 20-trip ticket discounted 20% off the one-way fare and good for 30-days.
  • Made numerous improvements to Access Link, including:
    • Launched Access Link Online to enable online reservations, cancellations and cashless payments for trips via EZ-Wallet.
    • New NJT Access Link mobile app launched in March 2021.
    • Introduced Access Link Twitter account at @NJTRANSIT_AL to provide information and service updates.
  • Encouraged area employers to see what NJ TRANSIT has done to ensure their employees can get back to their offices safely.
  • Welcomed back area college and university students with a special promotion for our Student Pass.
  • Resumed service to major events at MetLife Stadium.
  • Introduced First Run, our NJ TRANSIT blog for sharing news, information and behind-the-scenes insights about NJ TRANSIT
  • Integrated SEPTA ticket purchasing into the NJ TRANSIT Mobile App and ticket vending machines, enabling customers to buy end-to-end tickets from New Jersey to Philadelphia.
  • Modernizing fare collection systems to improve customer experience, including:
    • Rolling out handheld mobile validation units for rail crews to scan tickets.
    • Systemwide installation of new electronic validators on buses to scan and validate paper and mobile tickets/passes.
    • Installing new, modernized ticket vending machines (TVMs) throughout the system, offering faster transaction times and new contactless payment options.
  • Continued to install modern new screens and kiosks to provide up-to-date travel information, including new kiosks in Rahway, Morristown and Red Bank stations.
  • Completed refresh of new Ticketed Waiting Area at PSNY in coordination with Amtrak to provide additional space and amenities to NJ TRANSIT customers.
  • Ongoing enhancements and improvements to www.njtransit.com.
  • Updated our policy on personal vehicles to allow e-bikes, e-scooters and hoverboards on board vehicles, under existing bicycle regulations offering environmentally friendly alternatives for first-mile/last-mile access to transit.

Advancing Major Capital Projects

  • Since 2018, we have more than $4 billion in capital projects underway or soon to enter procurement — up from just $60 million in hard money contracts on the street in 2017
  • Advancing key projects to improve overall system performance, including:
    • $1.8 billion Portal North Bridge project - executed Full Funding Grant Agreement for $766.5 million in January 2021
    • Facilitated achievement of key milestones on the Hudson Tunnel Project, including:
      • Federal issuance of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Record of Decision (ROD), clearing the way for the project to work toward final design and construction.
      • Submission of the new financial plan with project partners that should qualify the Hudson Tunnel Project for advancement to the next phase of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA)’s Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program.
    • Awarded construction contract for new $600 million Raritan River Bridge which broke ground in September 2020.
    • Walter Rand Transportation Center Improvement Project continues to advance with $250 million investment.
    • Commenced $190 million effort to renovate and reimagine Newark Penn Station; issued RFP for Master Planning, Conceptual, Preliminary, and Final Design, and Construction Assistance Services.
    • Advanced electric bus program in Camden with the awarding of an infrastructure improvement construction contract at Newton Avenue Garage.
    • Secured an $18.3 million FRA grant for enhancements to the Trenton Transit Center.
    • Awarded construction contract for new Lyndhurst station ($28 million).
    • Elizabeth Station ($70 million) where construction has commenced.
    • Perth Amboy station ($47 million), where design is complete, and construction is scheduled to begin in summer 2021.
    • Advancing the Morris & Essex Lines Sawtooth Bridge replacement project to improve trans-Hudson capacity.
    • New North Brunswick Train Station project continues to advance.
    • Glassboro-Camden Light Rail line continues to advance.
    • Completed early-action construction work at Hudson-Bergen Light Rail's West Side Avenue Station for Route 440 Extension project.
    • $557 million, our newly-reimagined, TRANSITGRID project.
    • The County Yard / Delco Lead Storage and Inspection Facility ($246 million).
    • $232 million Mason Substation.
    • $195 million Long Slip project in Hoboken.
    • Advancing new Northern Bus Garage construction, which will include the necessary charging infrastructure to support an all-electric bus fleet
  • Reduced average procurement cycle time for federal and state construction projects.

Setting A Vision for the Future

  • Released the agency's first-ever 10-year Strategic Plan and 5-year Capital Plans to provide a roadmap for improvements
  • Developed a Capital Plan that is expected to drive economic activity, including:
    • Generating nearly $55 billion of economic output within the state.
    • Supporting 245,000 full-time employee job-years of New Jersey employment.
    • Providing $15 billion of earnings for New Jersey employees.
  • Through the Northeast Corridor Commission, in collaboration with the state governments of the Northeast, the federal government, other commuter rail agencies, and Amtrak, developed CONNECT NEC 2035 (C35), a detailed and efficient 15-year sequencing of infrastructure investment covering 150 projects along the corridor, which will result in a modern and resilient railroad with safe, reliable, and more frequent service, connections to new markets, and reduced travel times between communities.
  • Aggressively pursuing the transition to a 100% zero-emissions bus fleet by 2040, with infrastructure projects and electric bus purchases, all while helping to realize Governor Murphy’s Energy Master Plan and fulfill legislative requirements.
  • Educating customers about NJ TRANSIT’s sustainability focus, with new content and resources.
  • Reimagined the TransitGrid project to maximize potential use of renewable energy sources.
  • Awarded our first contract for the NJT Innovation Challenge, which seeks new ideas for travel to/from the Meadowlands.
  • Commenced the NEWBUS Newark Bus Network Redesign Study to better align service with demand, creating a bus network in Newark that best serves the needs of customers, businesses and employers.
  • Embraced Transit-Oriented Development to better serve New Jersey communities, including advancing projects in Jersey City, Somerville, Aberdeen-Matawan, Metropark, Waldwick Station on Main Line, and Bayonne at 34th St. Station on the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail.

Providing Nationally-Recognized Security

  • Expanded the New Jersey Transit Police Outreach Unit from two to five officers to work with at-risk individuals throughout the state to help connect them with housing and social services.
  • Conducted numerous Mask Enforcement Details throughout the system to ensure compliance with safe riding behaviors.
  • Federal grants received to add 500 security cameras throughout the system and pilot safety technology to detect pedestrians on tracks.
  • Took delivery of a new state-of-the-art Command Vehicle for use during special events and emergency incidents, replacing an aging command vehicle manufactured over 20 years ago.
  • Became the first Transit Agency in America to be ISO-certified for Cyber Security.

Responding to COVID

  • One of the first transit agencies in the country to begin disinfecting vehicles and major stations daily before the first COVID case was identified in NJ
  • Published Ride to Recovery: NJ TRANSIT’s COVID-19 Response & Path Forward, a comprehensive document describing both the actions taken by NJ TRANSIT to manage the challenges faced during the pandemic, and our path forward as we continue to plan for the future.
  • Secured an estimated $4 billion in federal Coronavirus relief funding to maintain full service levels for customers throughout the pandemic.
  • Implemented VAXRIDE initiative to provide detailed transit information to vaccine sites, along with free rides sponsored by corporate partners.
  • Prioritized employee vaccination and maximized vaccine access through hospital partnerships and on-site clinics.
  • Collaborated with regional transit agencies (e.g., MTA, PATH, SEPTA) to establish a MASKFORCE to assist with encouraging proper transit customer behaviors.
  • Instituted a pilot program to install PPE Vending Machines in select stations to provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) options for customers.
  • Distributed over 86,000 free masks to customers through our Customer Service offices and MASKFORCE program.
  • Launched SAFE NJ customer awareness campaign to promote safe behavior and remind customers of safe travel practices.
  • Regularly disinfecting employee work locations.
  • Added six employee COVID testing sites.
  • Ensuring employees are prioritized for vaccine, including making necessary preparations to vaccinate employees on-site when vaccine supplies become available.
  • Instituted 4 technology pilots to combat COVID through the Transit Tech Lab.
  • Cosponsored with Rutgers the COVID-19 and the Future of Economic Activity and Transportation COVID Symposium, which brought together sector leaders to share information and perspectives on the post-pandemic environment.
  • Installed acrylic barriers on more than 2,200 buses to protect drivers and employees.
  • Executed pilot with Rutgers to explore effectiveness of Ultraviolet (UV) Light against COVID.