NJ TRANSIT ANNOUNCES ALTERNATE SERVICE PLAN FOR POSSIBLE RAIL STOPPAGE
Commuters advised to expect unusual congestion
and delays on all travel modes
NEWARK, NJ — NJ TRANSIT Rail Operations faces the prospect of a systemwide shutdown should the membership of its rail union opt to participate in a work stoppage. This would result in the complete suspension of NJ TRANSIT rail service, affecting more than 160,000 customers who ride the system on a typical weekday. In the event of such a stoppage, NJ TRANSIT has developed a contingency plan that would accommodate up to about 38 percent, or about 40,000 seats, of the existing New York-bound customer base.
This contingency plan includes adding capacity to existing New York commuter bus routes in close proximity to rail stations, contracting with private carriers to operate bus service from key regional park-ride locations during weekday peak periods, increasing capacity on its three light rail systems, and maximizing use of the available capacity on PATH and ferry service.
“A rail stoppage would have a severe impact on travel in the entire region, as capacity constraints on both our public transportation system and our road network limit our ability to accommodate every displaced rail customer,” said NJ TRANSIT Interim Executive Director Dennis Martin. “NJ TRANSIT will operate a plan that the overall system and region can safely handle to accommodate as many customers as possible who absolutely must travel into and out of New York, bearing in mind that bus service cannot replicate the railroad.”
In developing its contingency plan, NJ TRANSIT focused available resources on the largest segment of its rail customer base—the New York-bound customer. Approximately 105,000 customers make up the total rail-based interstate market, including customers who transfer from NJ TRANSIT rail to PATH trains at Hoboken Terminal and Newark Penn Station. Through a combination of added capacity to existing New York bus routes, operation of a regional park/ride service, and private carriers adding capacity where possible to their own bus routes that parallel rail corridors, NJ TRANSIT estimates that it can carry approximately 40,000 New York customers.
“If a rail stoppage occurs, NJ TRANSIT customers as well as people who normally drive to work should understand that this will not be a normal commute for anyone—particularly with the potential for more than 10,000 additional cars on the road per peak hour,” said Martin. “As part of our contingency planning, we have reached out to a broad range of employers and business organizations in New Jersey and New York to alert them to the potential stoppage, and we have strongly encouraged them to allow their employees to telecommute if possible.”
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