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Murphy unveils temporary NJ Transit relief

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From left: NJ Transit acting Commissioner Diane Gutierrez, Gov. Phil Murphy and Executive Director Kevin Corbett at the Trenton Transit Center.
From left: NJ Transit acting Commissioner Diane Gutierrez, Gov. Phil Murphy and Executive Director Kevin Corbett at the Trenton Transit Center. - ()

Gov. Phil Murphy today unveiled temporary measures to boost NJ Transit hiring, while also moving to add to its fleet inventory.

“Let there be no doubt to our commitment to getting this right and working for the community and public,” Murphy said at a Trenton Transit Center press event to announce the moves. “This is not a quick turnaround project. NJ Transit’s woes stem from years of internal management issues and years of state neglect. Three weeks ago, I ordered a complete audit and performance review of NJ Transit to pinpoint not only what derailed this once proud network, but to get us back on track and moving in the right direction.”

The governor was joined by executive director Kevin Corbett, who was approved by the NJ Transit board of directors on Wednesday.

The newly announced measures include:

  • adding 20 cars from NJ Transit inventory back into circulation,
  • accelerating car repair and inspection to add more cars to the daily fleet,
  • increasing hiring operations, including boosted screening and recruiting events.

“What we learned coming in is that we were about 37 cars short to provide what would be full daily service,” NJ Transit acting Commissioner Diane Gutierrez said at the press event.  “That doesn’t count the number we would like to have available to us if we have a breakdown or something else occurs.  We were able to identify those 20 cars that are sitting in a yard, they were there for the purpose of doing upgrades. They are going back into service and as of today, 12 of the 20 are back in.”

NJ Transit is in preliminary negotiations with the Maryland agency for the additional cars, she said. Gutierrez added that NJ Transit also will seek to accelerate negotiations with its parts suppliers so it can receive and repairs cars immediately.

 “We will get New Jersey Transit right, even as we make the case to the Trump Administration and Congress that the Gateway project is too important to our national economic prospects, to not invest in,” Murphy said. “We need the federal government to be a partner in our economic success. I look forward to working with our congressional delegation to make this strong case.”

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Mario Marroquin

Mario Marroquin

Mario Marroquin covers real estate. A native of El Salvador, Mario is bilingual in English and Spanish. He graduated from Penn State University and worked in Pennsylvania before moving to New Jersey. His email is mariom@njbiz.com.

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Marlboro Mann February 15, 2018 12:54 pm

How are these moves going to get the buses into NYC quicker or are bus commuters the forgotten stepchild?

Marlene Coles February 15, 2018 12:26 pm

Cars that perhaps are not compatible with Positive Train Control. My guess is there was a reason they were put away for upgrades. Maybe he should complete his audit before he decides to act on the pre-determined findings.