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Building Conversion will Create Primary Operation and Safety Training Center for Bus and Rail Employees

NEWARK, NJ, January 15, 2003 – In an effort to streamline operations and utilize existing building space for employee training, the NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors today authorized a plan to convert a building at the Corporation’s Ferry Street Newark Shops into a state-of-the-art operations training center for both rail and bus employees.

The consolidation will help to increase operating efficiencies and better manage existing resources for operational training.

“By converting our Ferry Street facility into a training facility for both rail and bus employees, NJ TRANSIT is making good on a promise to do more with less,” said Acting Transportation Commissioner Jack Lettiere. “Now more than ever, it's imperative that the Corporation streamline costs and spend the savings on improving our bus and rail services.”

Combining operational and safety training with maintenance training will increase productivity and generate cost savings for the Corporation,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George Warrington. “The conversion of the Ferry Street Newark Shops Building is consistent with our “Back to Basics” theme to streamline costs, use existing facilities to our benefit and reallocate those cost savings to other priority projects.”

A construction contract of $3,390,000 was awarded to ALNA Construction of Jersey City to convert Newark Shops Building No. 3 on Ferry Street in Newark. The consolidated facility – consisting of classrooms, simulator areas and offices – will allow for the delivery of 13 different operational courses involving approximately 2,000 rail and bus employees, as well as, seven different safety courses for approximately 800 rail and bus employees.

Revamping an existing building allows for a unified operational training approach, where new employees will be able to go from classroom theory to re-enforcement via computer based training and simulation, and finally to hands on vehicle operation at a single site.

The Ferry Street Newark Complex is comprised of three turn-of-the-century buildings that were once the Bus Central Maintenance Facility. Building No. 2 was converted into a state-of-the-art maintenance training facility in 1995 and building No. 1 currently houses maintenance crews for bus operations.

NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing Bus, rail and light rail services for 752,600 daily trips on 238 bus routes, two light rail lines and 11 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 160 rail stations, 28 light rail stations and more than 17,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.