Gov. Murphy unveils plan to improve NJ Transit
TRENTON — With many NJ Transit trains continuing to run late or be cancelled, often with little notice to travelers, the embattled agency has launched an initiative to improve the customer experience.
During a news conference at the Trenton train station, Gov. Phil Murphy said from this day forward, “commuters will find NJ Transit living by a three-word mantra: engage, inform, improve. And NJ Transit is working hard to instill these values in every aspect of its service.”
He added: “Our goal is nothing less than a customer-focused agency that engages with riders, listens to them, and thinks like them — proactively keep them informed.”
Murphy promised NJ Transit will actively engage customers for their input to help identify areas in need of improvement.
One element of the Engage, Inform and Improve campaign is the creation of a Customer Experience Unit that will be “monitoring and assessing the conditions customers find onboard trains, light rail and buses, as well as at NJ Transit facilities.”
He said the unit will dovetail with other efforts already underway to improve customer communications, “including an upgraded mobile app that provides customized alerts via push notifications.”
Murphy said customers shouldn’t have to search for information “as to whether their train is on time. That information should find them as fast as possible, and now it will.”
He noted customers will also be receiving timelier onboard information and announcements from train crew.
“This is being achieved through upgraded smart phones. Believe it or not, many train crews are still using flip phones in the year 2018," he said.
Murphy added another focus of the campaign will be to address overcrowding. Toward that end, NJ Transit will be buying 113 new multi-level rail cars. He noted some single-level rail cars have been in service for more than 40 years.
As part of a five-year contract, NJ Transit continues to accept delivery of 182 45-foot cruiser buses.
He pointed out another improvement effort that is almost completed is Positive Train Control. He said by the end of this month, when the automatic rail braking system will be completely installed, it will improve on-time performance and safety.
Touch screen interactive information kiosks will be installed at Newark Penn station, Hoboken Terminal and at the Harborside and Pavonia stations.
He said the agency is also continuing aggressive recruiting efforts to attract additional bus drivers and train engineers.
“We’re doing everything possible to have real and tangible positive impacts of the lives of commuters who rely on NJ Transit services every day,” said Murphy. “This is a whole of team effort, from us in leadership, to the men and women who deliver train, light rail and bus service every single day.”