NJ Transit customer advocate meets with riders to tell them about service changes

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New Jersey Transit is getting the word out about some upcoming service changes due to track work at New York Penn Station.

The transit agency has often been criticized for not communicating well with customers. This has led them to hire Stewart Mader as the new customer advocate. Mader rode on some trains Thursday to personally tell riders about the changes.

Mader additionally handed out flyers detailing the scope of the project, which will impact the Montclair-Boonton, Morris and Essex Midtown Direct and North Jersey Coast rail lines.

RELATED: Amtrak rail work prompts NJ Transit services changes this summer 
RELATED: NJ Transit’s new ‘customer advocate’ seeks to improve riders’ experience 

“I have had a number of customers who seemed very pleased that I’m out on the trains talking to them,” Mader says. “I think that it’s not so much about me, as it is about the message that it sends. That we are listening and it’s important that we talk to customers. That face-to-face interaction means a lot to people.”

One of the biggest concerns for riders seems to be that select trains will no longer stop at the Newark Broad Street Train Station during the morning and evening peak periods.

“One of the big questions people have asked, ‘Can I get off at Newark Broad Street Station and pick up an M&E Midtown Direct Train?’...and the answer is no and the reason for that, I want to make sure people know, is we do not want overcrowding at Broad Street. The platforms over there are narrow,” Mader says.

The Montclair-Boonton line fares will be adjusted to offset the coast of PATH or NY Waterway options into Manhattan for the summer.

The work begins June 17 and is expected to last through Sept. 6. More information about the project can be found on the NJ Transit website.

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