Christie begins preparations for possible NJ TRANSIT shutdown - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Possible NJ TRANSIT shutdown

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New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's administration announced that preparations have begun for the potential shutdown of NJ TRANSIT bus, rail, light rail and Access Link service, effective Monday. 

Officials said this preliminary step is being implemented as the statewide transportation agency continues preparations for Hurricane Sandy.  

"The safety of our customers, employees and the public-at-large is paramount," said NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman and New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner James Simpson. "By beginning this important process, NJ TRANSIT will be better able to support the state's response to Hurricane Sandy by freeing up buses or other resources that may be needed for hurricane relief." 

Gov. Christie's administration issued the same full-scale shutdown of the NJ TRANSIT during Hurricane Irene in August of 2011 for nearly 36 hours. Officials said that decision last year is credited with saving billions in NJ TRANSIT assets and enabled NJ TRANSIT to restart service with all equipment available for use. There was also no customer or employee injuries were reported during this time.  

The systematic shutdown of NJ TRANSIT service will require a minimum of 12 hours to complete. The process requires the relocation and securing of buses, rail equipment and other NJ TRANSIT assets away from flood-prone areas. It also requires complete coordination with state and local officials throughout the process.  

The administration said this action is a precautionary measure and that no final decisions have been made regarding any potential future service suspension.  

Saturday afternoon Gov. Christie announced system-wide cross-honoring of all rail, bus and light rail tickets starting Monday, 12:00 a.m. and continuing through Wednesday, 6 a.m. This allows customers holding NJ TRANSIT tickets to use alternate means of transportation to get to their final destination, such as PATH, PATCO and private bus carriers. Due to the duration of the storm and the potential impact to the NJ TRANSIT system, this timeframe could be extended if necessary. 

NJ TRANSIT PREPARATIONS FOR HURRICANE SANDY

Rail and Light Rail Operations 

  • NJ TRANSIT's maintenance forces continue inspecting culverts, drainage pipes and rights-of-way to ensure they are clear of blockages that could exacerbate flooding and disrupt service.  
  • NJ TRANSIT rail and light rail crews and equipment are on standby to respond to downed trees, wires and flooding.

 Bus and Access Link Operations

  • NJ TRANSIT Bus and Access Link maintenance and support staff will be on standby 24/7 to respond where needed.

 Customer Service

  • Customer Service Field Offices will extend their hours of operations if necessary.
  • The Transit Information Office (TIC) - NJ TRANSIT's call center, is also prepared to extend its hours if necessary.

TRAVEL ADVICE

For the latest travel information, customers should listen to broadcast traffic reports, visit njtransit.com or access our Twitter feed at @NJ_TRANSIT prior to starting your trip. In the event of service delays or adjustments, including the suspension of service, NJ TRANSIT will provide the most current service information via the My Transit alert system, which delivers travel advisories for your specific trip to your cell phone, PDA or pager. Service information is also available by calling (973) 275-5555.

  • Listen closely to public address announcements at stations for late-breaking service information.
  • Build additional travel time into your trip to a station, terminal or bus stop.
  • Stairs, floors and platforms can be slippery, so please use caution when walking along wet surfaces or any outdoor surface exposed to the weather. Use extra care when boarding or exiting buses and trains.
  • Report slippery or unsafe conditions to bus operators, train crews or to NJ TRANSIT staff.
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