New Jersey Transit unveils 10-year plan to improve transit reliability
Gov. Phil Murphy and New Jersey Transit CEO Kevin Corbett unveiled plans for the agency’s next decade during Monday’s COVID-19 briefing.
NJ Transit is preparing for increased bus and rail ridership as the state continues to reopen. Buses resumed their normal schedules on Monday, while trains still operated on modified schedules.
“New Jersey’s road back also rides along NJ Transit’s trains, buses and light rail,” Murphy said.
The governor said that the effort, dubbed “NJT 2030,” would improve systemwide reliability and include a more inclusive culture at the agency.
“It provides a core strategic vision for our organization with the flexibility to evolve, to meet the ever-changing and sometimes unexpected needs of our customers and our region,” said Corbett.
Goals include 95% on-time performance for buses and trains by 2023 and zero cancellations by 2025.
“Now the vision of the strategic plan is highly dependable on infrastructure and equipment being maintained and properly protected,” said Murphy. “We know that happens to quality and reliability of service when that doesn’t happen. That’s the whole that we have been climbing out of for the past 2 1/2 years.”
Corbett says that is has been his goal to improve the agency ever since he came on board.
“I must admit, I was rather shocked that one of the nation’s largest transit agencies did not have a five-year capital plan. And so, one of the first orders of business when I arrived was to order a systemwide conditions assessment of all our capital assets,” he said.
The capital plan includes changes to bus garages as NJ Transit works to have an all-electric fleet by 2050. There will also be an overhaul of Hoboken Terminal.
And despite the pandemic, Corbett says that NJ Transit will make the Dec. 31 deadline for the positive train control safety system.
“We are keeping the vendor’s feet to the fire,” he said. “A lot of that’s software-related. But we’re doing extensive testing, today on four of the different lines, in fact. We intend to meet that deadline,” said Corbett.
Officials said that the plans were in the works before the pandemic, but Murphy said that more than $1 billion from the federal government and $5 billion in proposed state borrowing are necessary to keep the changes on track.
“No one will deny the challenge, but we must work creative to meet them,” Murphy said.
A total of 542 members of the NJ Transit workforce tested positive for COVID-19. Thirteen of them have died.