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NJ Transit buses are getting a high-tech surveillance upgrade

David Matthau, Townsquare Media NJ
David Matthau, Townsquare Media NJ

NEWARK — During a visit to a giant NJ Transit bus maintenance facility on Wednesday, Gov. Chris Christie unveiled a plan to make bus travel safer in the Garden State.

“New Jersey Transit will be installing a $29 million 360-degree camera system on 2,500 new and existing buses,” he said.

The governor explained the focus here is to improve public safety.

“This is going to make sure that the driver has a complete view of what’s happening around the bus, decreasing the chance of accidents with pedestrians, cyclists, other motorists.”

Christie said all new buses delivered to NJ Transit will be equipped with the technology, and existing buses will be retrofitted starting later this summer.

David Matthau, Townsquare Media NJ
David Matthau, Townsquare Media NJ

“Cameras are going to be mounted on the front, rear and sides of the bus that capture the surrounding areas of the vehicle, including any blind spots that the driver may have,” he said.

The images from each tiny camera will be combined into a central monitor the bus driver will be able to look at, giving him a 360 degree perspective outside of the vehicle.

David Matthau, Townsquare Media NJ
David Matthau, Townsquare Media NJ

“This project will be very beneficial for Jersey residents who not only utilize our bus service throughout the state, but also are in and around the places that bus service is utilized, to make sure things are safe for the driver and our passengers,” said Christie.

“The camera system will also make those people who are either driving other vehicles or are pedestrians around those buses even more safe.”

Christie said implementing this kind of a camera system was a top priority for NJ Transit.

“Now that we have the Transportation Trust Fund funding to be able to do it, we’re doing it, they made it a priority when I went to them to talk about safety,” he said.

“There are a lot of people, as you know, who use our buses every day, and who are around our buses every day. So for them this is a good day.”

The camera system is one of several safety and technology projects NJ Transit will be undertaking in the coming year.

The agency will be implementing an enhanced My Tix electronic mobile ticketing application that will increase functionality on the ticketing options.

Christie said NJ Transit is also doing preliminary work on a significant expansion of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail from the West Side Avenue station to Route 440 in Jersey City.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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