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Improved signage, PA systems on the way

October 14, 2004

NEWARK -- As part of a series of customer service improvements, NJ TRANSIT will streamline access and ticket usage for seniors and children at the end of this month.

When train timetables change on October 31, senior citizens 62 and older will continue to ride for 50 percent off the regular one-way fare, but their tickets can be used for more trains and more travel times than before. In addition, all children ages five to 11 will be eligible for the 50 percent discount. Eligibility requirements will no longer depend on the purchase of a full-fare companion ticket.

“These new streamlined changes continue our commitment to staying focused on the customer,” said DOT Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman Jack Lettiere.

“It’s important to periodically examine historic practices to ensure that we’re not perpetuating policies that are inconsistent, confusing or unmanageable,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George D. Warrington. “Our goal is to streamline access and to provide guidelines that are both easy for customers to understand and for employees to implement.”

Fewer busy signals

The Corporation has implemented an Interactive Voice Response system that gives customers faster access to information and provides an estimated wait time before speaking with an operator. The new technology has dramatically reduced busy phone signals from 60 percent to less than one percent during normal operations. The Corporation handles an average of 12,000 calls each weekday.

NJ TRANSIT also has established a single telephone number – 1-800-772-2222 – where customers can find travel information and assistance from anywhere in the United States. The move consolidates nine customer service lines into a single, easy-to-remember, toll-free number.

Easy-to-read signs

NJ TRANSIT continues to overhaul “train information” signboards at its major terminals. In Hoboken, where the boards are 10 years old, a modern liquid crystal display gateboard that is easier to read than conventional boards has already been installed at Track 15. New gateboards, which include larger type size and improved visibility, will be installed at the remaining 17 tracks before the end of the year.

In the 7th Avenue Concourse in New York, eight new 40-inch LCD screens have been installed in the pre-boarding area at the top of the escalators, giving customers improved access to track assignment and train departure information.

Crystal clear PA systems

NJ TRANSIT will overhaul the more than 10 to 15 years old public address systems at 163 stations.

Over the next two years, the Corporation will spend $28 million on upgrades, which include both public address systems and dynamic signs. Final design will be completed in the next six months.

Meanwhile at Newark Penn Station, transit will install new microphones and wiring during the next two months, which will make a noticeable improvement to the public-address system there. The station will then undergo a major overhaul scheduled to be completed in 2006.

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.