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:
“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.”