NJ Transit directors voted Wednesday to approve a $42.6 million contract with Hoboken-based company Hillside to operate the Hudson County Local Bus Service from July 1 to June 25, 2021.
The directors also voted to approve three other contracts regarding service: a $10.5 million contract with Baltimore-based Coach and Equipment Bus Sales to buy 146 minibuses; a $19.9 million contract with Waldwick-based DMR Construction Services to build the Hoboken Terminal House Power Repair project; and a $7.2 million contract with Bensalem, Pa.-based Bombardier Transit Corp. to overhaul 116-line converter modules.
During a public comment portion of the meeting, David Peter Alan, chairman of the rider-advocacy group Lackawanna Coalition, said he is concerned about NJ Transit’s lack of disclosure and transparency. He slammed what he called board members not being informed enough about topics associated with NJ Transit affairs.
“Why contract bus services to private contractors?” Alan said. “Do they have best practices? If so, why not adopt those best practices? Do they pay lower wages?”
“The overriding problem is that there are no regular NJ Transit riders on the board,” Alan said. “Therefore, our decisions are made by people who do not need public transport. We call on this administration to give us representatives who use NJ Transit.”
“I am transit-dependent,” Alan said. “The people who run this transit have no idea what we have to put up with. They go to great lengths to avoid listening to us. It is the same now as it was under [former Gov. Chris] Christie.”
After an executive session of more than one hour, the trustees appointed William Viqueira as chief financial officer and treasurer of NJ Transit. He was most recently a chief financial officer, director of Intellispace and senior vice president of business development and treasurer of Lucent Technologies.
The trustees also appointed Jacqueline Stamford as deputy treasurer. She has worked for NJ Transit for more than 20 years.