NJ Transit ridership grows as agency takes more COVID-19 precautions
Ridership on New Jersey Transit’s buses and trains has been slowly rising since the agency resumed service during the COVID-19 pandemic, and now the agency is taking even more coronavirus precautions to protect customers.
CEO Kevin Corbett says that capacity is up to about 20% for riders taking the train from New Jersey into New York City. Ridership on buses into New York is at about 35%. He says that intra-state travel on buses is up to about 70% capacity.
“Riding the system myself every day on rail and bus – virtually everyone I see has masks on,” Corbett says.
The agency has announced that it will now be installing onboard ticket validators on its entire bus fleet. The barcode system allows for touch-less ticket taking - which means less contact between drivers and passengers.
“I think that all helps riders – using technology – feel more comfortable about coming back,” he says.
Stations, buses and trains are sanitized regularly, and they all have signage to remind riders of safety practices. Most sitting areas are closed to limit crowding, and transit police carry extra masks for those who forget.
NJ Transit is also installing brand-new PPE vending machines that contain masks, sanitizer and disinfectant wipes. The machines are possible through a partnership with RapidMask2G0.
“Train stations are a natural fit for PPE vending machines,” says RapidMask2Go founder David Edleman. “NJ Transit, MTA, they all require face coverings on the trains.”
The vending machines have been installed in six NJ Transit stations: Summit, New Brunswick, Metropark, Secaucus, Hoboken and Newark Penn.
“We want to make sure people feel comfortable and secure as they come back,” Corbett says.