Gov. Phil Murphy celebrated the upcoming graduation of a new class of NJ Transit locomotive engineers Wednesday.
“New Jersey’s future relies on a safe, properly staffed NJ TRANSIT,” Murphy said. “The trainees here today are the critical pieces we need to get NJ TRANSIT working for commuters, our communities, and our state’s economy. I applaud each trainee and congratulate them on a new career that will help us restore NJ TRANSIT as the nation’s most efficient, effective and safest mass transit system.”
Seven engineers completed the final requirements needed for their graduation, the governor announced Wednesday.
Staffing shortages have been blamed for some of the delays and cancellations that plague the beleaguered transit network.
“I’d like to congratulate the locomotive engineer trainees on their success and wish them all the best during these final few weeks,” NJ TRANSIT President and CEO Kevin Corbett said. “These engineers — along with six other graduating classes between 2019 and 2020 — will be key members of the NJ TRANSIT team, helping us make delays due to engineer availability a thing of the past.”
The class is set to complete in mid-to-late November. Once they graduate, the state will have trained 19 new locomotive engineers this year.
Two more classes are expected to graduate in the next three months.
“We are proud of the accomplishments of this class of locomotive engineers,” Transportation Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti said. “Throughout their training program they have demonstrated a commitment to serving NJ TRANSIT’s customers. Our efforts to maintain and upgrade our trains are meaningless without the availability of qualified individuals to operate them, and each new engineer will have a meaningful impact on NJ TRANSIT’s ability to serve the public.”