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New guide highlights alternate routes for commuters

August 13, 2004


NEWARK, NJ -- Today, on the eve of the anniversary of last year’s regional blackout, area transportation providers will distribute guides to customers that provide travel alternatives in the event of a major service disruption or an emergency affecting regional transportation.

Convened by NJ TRANSIT in the wake of the blackout, The Trans-Hudson Emergency Task Force has worked over the past year reviewing Manhattan-New Jersey bus, rail and ferry services and alternatives that could be used in the event of an emergency. The group also worked through multiple service disruption and contingency scenarios.

The first multi-modal reference of its kind, “Don’t Get Stuck in the Dark” provides alternate transportation options, key agency telephone numbers, website addresses and a map identifying train, bus, light rail and ferry terminals. Task Force members will begin distributing more than a quarter of a million guides beginning today at The Port Authority Bus Terminal; NJ TRANSIT’s Hoboken Terminal and Newark Penn Station; and Amtrak’s New York Penn Station during the morning peak commuting period.

"It is important that we take a proactive approach for NJ TRANSIT's riders and New Jersey's citizens, to keep us prepared in case such an event should happen again," Governor James E. McGreevey said. "All levels of government are working together to ensure the safety and security of our families, to the greatest extent possible. This is another step for that safety."

"The major blackout we experienced last August was a wake-up call for those who live and work in New York,” said Governor George E. Pataki. “It showed just how critical it is for commuters to become aware of the many transportation options that are available to them in the event of an emergency. It is equally important for all transportation providers in New York and New Jersey to work closely together to prepare to serve the hundreds of thousands of people who rely on their services during these unforeseen situations."

The Trans-Hudson Emergency Transportation Task Force is comprised of agencies including New Jersey and New York state and local police departments, the New Jersey and New York City departments of transportation, the New Jersey and New York City offices of emergency management, NJ TRANSIT, The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, Amtrak, NY Waterway, Academy Bus, Coach USA, the NJ Board of Public Utilities, Liberty State Park and the NJ Sports & Exposition Authority.

"As a regional transportation agency, it is the Port Authority's responsibility to make sure its customers have the ability to get to and from their destinations during an emergency,” said Anthony R. Coscia, Chairman of The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. “This travel guide will help them make intelligent decisions if their normal commuting option has been disrupted in some way."

"This guide is a practical tool that will help passengers understand their options in the event of a major service disruption,” said George D. Warrington, Executive Director of NJ TRANSIT. “It’s something every commuter should keep in their briefcase.”

In addition to increasing public awareness about all modes of trans-Hudson travel, the Task Force plan calls for:

  • Coordinated interagency command and communications functions.
  • Alternate street-level bus operations in New York City, in the event the Port Authority Bus Terminal is closed.
  • Coordinated Midtown traffic management to prevent gridlock.

Copies of the “Don’t Get Stuck” brochure will also be available at major NJ TRANSIT bus and rail terminals, by calling 1-800-772-2222 or on the web at

NJ TRANSIT is the nation’s largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 752,600 daily trips on 240 bus routes, three light rail lines and 11 commuter lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 162 rail stations, 49 light rail stations and more than 17,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.