Home > NJ TRANSIT News > FYI >
Four Decades of Service, Customers First |
Four Decades of Service, Customers First
Forty years and counting! NJ TRANSIT has been your state public transportation agency for four decades, and it's been an amazing ride! We would like to thank our customers and employees who have supported our progress over the years, with more to come!
Once upon a time, in the early morning hours of July 17, 1979, the New Jersey Legislature passed the New Jersey Public Transportation Act, which was signed into law by Governor Brendan Byrne. Passage of the legislation created NJ TRANSIT, which would begin running buses and the Newark City Subway on January 1, 1980, and rail service on January 1, 1983.
The decision by the state to take over bus and rail service in New Jersey was made after years of declining service provided by private companies. Many were on their way to bankruptcy, and customers were demanding action.
In the early years that followed, NJ TRANSIT began rebuilding a transit system that was neglected and unreliable. Locomotives, rail cars, buses, supporting infrastructure and facilities were modernized or replaced, inefficient bus and rail lines were discontinued, administrative functions were centralized and our police department was formed.
Gradually, the customer experience went through a transformation process as the bus and rail systems became more seamless, new services were offered, new or refurbished stations and terminals were opened, and technology became more customer friendly. While our accessibility improvements began in 1982 with the arrival of wheelchair-accessible buses, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became the law of the land in 1990, leading to the launch of our Access Link paratransit service, the construction of ADA-accessible high-level platforms, the expansion of an ADA-accessible fleet and other initiatives for customers with disabilities.
The customer experience continued to accelerate in the 1990s and into the 2000s with the creation of Midtown Direct rail service, the launch of new light rail services, the opening of the Frank R. Lautenberg Rail Station at Secaucus Junction, new rail service to Newark Liberty International Airport and the Meadowlands, the opening of new multimodal stations and more.
NJ TRANSIT also began partnering with the New Jersey Department of Transportation to establish Transit Villages. Thirty-three communities are now in the program, focused on economic development around rail, light rail and bus stations throughout the state.
The evolution of technology has been at the forefront of enhancing your customer experience. That includes the development of Ticket Vending Machines, the MyTix mobile ticketing app and the NJ TRANSIT website, improved communications through the website, social media platforms, MyTransit travel alerts and DepartureVision real-time departure information, and the increasing popularity of the NJ TRANSIT mobile app that puts all of our popular customer tools into the palm of your hand, including customized service alert push notifications.
We think you'll agree that "Life Begins at 40!" NJ TRANSIT is in the midst of rebuilding again after nearly a decade of underfunding and neglect. Many of you will benefit from our fleet overhaul over the next several years, which includes the ongoing replacement of long-distance cruiser buses, and the purchase of new articulated buses, new "self-propelled" multilevel rail cars, additional dual-power locomotives and more Access Link minibuses. We're also modernizing more stations and terminals, testing new fare-collection technology and "express-hiring" frontline employees to fill vacancies that will gradually give you more predictable and reliable service.
We're adding another layer of safety to our rail system with the ongoing installation of Positive Train Control, exploring more light rail extension projects and doing more to protect our system from future storms thanks to a proactive resiliency program.
Meanwhile, we continue to work with Amtrak on the Gateway Program, a series of rail projects that will increase rail capacity between New Jersey and New York with new tracks, a second two-track tunnel beneath the Hudson River, a new fixed-span bridge over the Passaic River, additional station capacity in New York and other supporting infrastructure improvements.
We're working hard to improve your ride. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you.