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Easing Crowding, Improving Customer Service, Implementing Internal Efficiencies

NEWARK, NJ, November 13, 2002 During the Corporation’s monthly Board meeting today, NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George Warrington and Board Chairman Jamie Fox outlined the steps taken by the McGreevey administration to reduce crowding, improve customer service, advance parking and initiate internal efficiencies.

A reliable, accessible and customer friendly mass transit system is critical to New Jersey’s economy, environment, and quality of life,” said Governor James E. McGreevey. The improvements we have made at NJ TRANSIT are one of the cornerstones of this administration’s Smart Growth agenda.

“This administration’s back to basics approach is very simple it means we’re putting the customer first by giving them a parking space near a bus or rail terminal, clean equipment that arrives on time, and a seat in exchange for their fare,” said Fox. “Much has been accomplished with George Warrington at the helm for these past six months, but this is just a down payment on this administration’s vision for mass transit.”

“When I arrived six months ago, I made Governor McGreevey’s ‘back to basics’ message very clear; NJ TRANSIT needed to reexamine the way it does business, with an eye on the customer, a focus on the crowds on our trains, the need to deliver more commuter parking, and an assessment of how efficient we run our business,” Warrington said.

One of his first tasks after arriving in May was establishing five task forces to focus on critical areas surrounding the Corporation including system capacity, capital priorities, internal efficiencies, customer service and internal and external communications.

Since May, NJ TRANSIT has added 34 new trains including service on the new MidTOWN DIRECT Montclair service producing 11,500 additional seats to ease crowding.

Other accomplishments during his six-month tenure include: implementing new cleaning standards for trains, buses and stations to improve the quality of commute for customers; expanding the hours of the round trip excursion tickets following concerns from customers; and simplifying the rules and expanding the hours of travel for senior citizens and people with disabilities after listening to complaints.

Recently NJ TRANSIT developed a plan to phase in the opening the Secaucus Transfer Station beginning in September 2003, instead of waiting for a full opening of the facility at the end of 2003 when a much needed new PATH Station in lower Manhattan is scheduled to open. The full opening of Secaucus is contingent on the restoration of the new PATH Station to relieve some of the passenger loads on trains operating on the Northeast Corridor to and from Penn Station New York. Currently, people are remaining on NJ TRANSIT trains to get to New York instead of switching to PATH to get into Manhattan, creating crowd conditions.

“As we looked at ways to improve the way we do business externally, we also had to take a hard top to bottom look at how we conduct business internally,” Warrington said. “As a result of that assessment, we are expected to realize an annual $29 million savings over the next year by optimizing our internal processes and reducing staffing levels,” he said.

To achieve this, the Corporation will invest in better technology, improve its procurement and purchasing process and eliminate redundant activities. In addition, NJ TRANSIT will reduce approximately 8.6 percent of its 1,972 non agreement staff through a number of measures including early retirement, retraining and an actual reduction of force.

The following changes have been implemented over the last several months:


  • Acting on Governor James McGreevey’s commitment in June to reduce the number of standees on trains traveling into and out of New York, NJ TRANSIT has added 25 more weekday trains to its schedule. This was achieved through the addition of five new trains in June, four new trains in September, one new train in October, a net of 14 trains as part of the Montclair Connection start up in September, and one new train in November.
  • Since June,11,500 more seats have been added on the system through the implementation of the additional service and adding more cars on trains.
  • Ten new weekend trains added and one train added for late night Madison Square Garden events.
  • Additional weekday and weekend service will be implemented within 18 months to support the opening of the Secaucus Transfer.
  • Increasing total peak hour service on the Northeast Corridor, North Jersey Coast Line and MidTOWN DIRECT service into Penn Station New York by approximately 25 percent.
  • Increasing peak period service by approximately 30 percent on the Main, Bergen County and Pascack Valley lines.
  • Doubling holiday and weekend service on the Main and Bergen County Lines.


  • Construction contract awarded for a 1,500 space parking deck and station at Montclair State University.
  • Construction contract awarded for a 1,300 space regional Park/Ride on Route 17 in Ramsey.
  • An additional 330 spaces were added to the existing lot of 1,540 spaces at the Hamilton Train Station.
  • Opened a new regional bus parking lot on Route 23 in Wayne to augment existing parking at Willowbrook Mall.
  • Finalizing a five-year program to add more than 10,000 new parking spaces throughout the system, with a plan to construct the first 4,000 spaces following Board approval today.


  • Scrubbing railcars every 45 days versus every 90 days.
  • Scrubbing buses every 25 days versus every 30 days.
  • Developing detailed maintenance standards for rail stations.
  • Establishing real time feedback among 15,000 rail riders via an e panel customer satisfaction survey.
  • Offering supercruiser bus service utilizing new 45 foot cruiser buses on 14 bus routes.
  • Added 16 trips to bus routes in North Jersey.
  • Extended five bus routes in South Jersey in Gloucester County including new service for workers bound for the Pureland Industrial Park in Logan Township, and students and staff traveling to Rowan University.
  • Working with the casino industry in Atlantic City and other counties in South Jersey to evaluate new transportation services for casino workers, which could lead to:
  • Express bus service between Cumberland County and Atlantic City.
  • Feeder bus service to enhance NJ TRANSIT service to Atlantic City.
  • Expanded park/ride opportunities along the south jersey bus and rail system.
  • Evaluating potential improvements along the Atlantic City Rail Line that could enhance service, particularly seasonal rail service that would benefit workers and tourists in the region.
  • Created new combined Hudson Bergen Light Rail and commuter rail ticket.
  • Installed faster printers for bus and light rail TVM’s (Ticket Vending Machines).
  • Targeting an overall TVM ticketing procedure to simplify and expedite the process.
  • Consolidated the management of NJ TRANSIT’s operation in Penn Station New York to focus on improving customer satisfaction, efficiency of train service in and out of the terminal, passenger flow and passenger services.


  • Developing a new employee recruitment process to ensure that the Corporation is hiring the right people for the right positions.
  • Giving employees the training and resources to carrying out the Corporation’s mission.
  • Aligning job responsibilities, employee performance measures and rewards, with an eye on the customers, to increase productivity and retain employees.

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