The coronavirus pandemic has impacted transit ridership across the globe, but NJ TRANSIT has not stopped working to improve the travel experience. Even as ridership declined and the virus spread throughout the state, including its impact on the NJ TRANSIT workforce, front line workers were out there every day safely delivering the critical rail, bus, and light rail service that essential workers and New Jerseyans depend on.
Now, as restrictions are easing and employers are beginning to develop plans for employees to return to their workplaces, NJ TRANSIT takes you behind the scenes of all they’ve done to prepare the system for customers’ return.
NJ TRANSIT is safer, more reliable and more customer-focused than ever!
While You’ve Been Away – Here’s how NJ TRANSIT has been working to improve your experience.
NJ TRANSIT was one of the first transit agencies in the country to disinfect all its vehicles, major stations, and terminals every 24 hours – and that continues today. NJ TRANSIT introduced PPE vending machines at major stations and has given away over 60,000 free masks to customers.
Technological innovations have been introduced like How Full Is My Ride, to inform customers about crowding conditions on buses and trains. The FLEXPASS discounted ticketing option was created to accommodate customers whose commuting patterns have changed due to COVID-19. It’s hard to find a better example nationally of how a transit system should respond to such an event.
NJ TRANSIT has also purchased hundreds of new buses, railcars, and locomotives to modernize its fleet, improved on-time performance across the board, filled a full roster of locomotive engineers for the first time in more than a decade, and hired more than 1,000 new bus operators since January of 2018. These measures were squarely focused on better, safer, more reliable service for our customers.
NJ TRANSIT has continued to enhance the day-to-day experience – with a particular focus on technology – through the completely redesigned NJ TRANSIT Mobile App with new features such as “How Full Is My Ride” to inform you how crowded your bus or train is before you board, the introduction of a brand new mobile app for Access Link customers, and new contactless fare payment technologies such as onboard ticket scanning on buses and trains. The new NJT Rewards Program has been launched which allows customers to earn points for ticket purchases through the mobile app, which can then be redeemed for deals and discounts at restaurants, retail outlets and entertainment venues throughout the state.
The experience at Penn Station New York has been significantly improved with a completely refurbished waiting room for NJ TRANSIT and Amtrak customers, and the agency has vastly improved communications by providing 24/7/365 messaging to alert customers about service impacts.
To further enhance the commuting experience, and while transit agencies across the country scaled back or even suspended their capital plans and projects, NJ TRANSIT has been advancing more than $4 billion in capital projects throughout the system since 2018 to improve service reliability, safety and the customer experience.
Setting A Vision for the Future
Two new transformational plans have been introduced– the first ever 10-Year Strategic Plan (NJT2030) and 5-Year Capital Plan – which together will help build on the significant progress made over the past three years and provide a roadmap that puts customers at the center of decision-making as NJ TRANSIT moves forward over the next decade.
NJ TRANSIT has been working hard While You’ve Been Away and, while considerable progress has been made, they are not done yet. More details can be found through one of the links above or at njtransit.com/progress.