We should expect better NJ Transit service … some of the time
After months of worse-than-normal train cancellations, slowdowns and disruptions to rail service, Gov. Phil Murphy proudly announced during a visit to an NJ Transit maintenance facility in Kearny on Monday the embattled agency has met a federal deadline to install Positive Train Control on its rail system.
What's that mean in the short term for riders?
"NJ Transit can now focus its energies on improving communications and conditions and on on-time reliability and service," Murphy said.
Since early fall, New Jersey Transit has been pulling trains out of service to install the PTC emergency braking system that was required by the federal government to be completed by Dec. 31 of this year.
The governor said meeting the 2018 benchmark was a huge accomplishment, but commuters should not think the problems plaguing NJ Transit are going to disappear overnight, or that there won’t be any more cancellations or delays.
“I’m not suggesting we have a magic moment, but all of what’s being done here means that the incidences of what’s been going on should be reduced," Murphy said.
He said he'd stay on NJ Transit "morning, noon and night, to make sure the customer experience, not just the safety but the reliability, the comfort, the entire commuting experience, becomes again best in the nation.”
Murphy said he’s “completely convinced we will get there.”
The governor acknowledged as efforts continue to install PTC on about 150 additional rail cars and run tests on the entire emergency braking system over the next two years, commuters may encounter problems on some lines at certain times.
“I will stay laser-focused on NJ Transit to make sure that the commuter experience becomes best in the nation," Murphy said. "We have no less an objective than that.”