Murphy says NJ Transit improving on morning when 6 trains canceled
TRENTON — On a day Gov. Phil Murphy posted a "victory tweet" about improving NJ Transit service, a total of 26 trains were canceled during the morning and afternoon commutes.
"After years of mismanagement, we’re beginning to provide NJ commuters with a transit system that makes their lives smoother rather than harder," the governor said on his Twitter account after he announced the return of one-seat, off-peak rides into New York Penn Station along the Raritan Valley Line starting Monday, Nov. 4.
NJ Transit also recently shared news about a 35% reduction in the number of cancelled trains in the first nine months of 2019 compared to 2018. In September, cancellations are down 17% from last year and on-time performance rose from 91.2% to 92.1%, according to the agency.
But the cancellations still happen, including 13 trains Monday morning, another 13 Monday afternoon, and six on Tuesday morning.
The governor saw a silver lining during an event on Tuesday morning.
"Tuesday morning we put out about 250 or so trains and six didn't make the cut. So we batted .244 of .250. If you're one of the .244 you had a reasonable experience this morning. If you're one of the six you don't care that we did .244 and I don't blame you. They want us to bat .1000 I promise you I want to bat .1000 and I won't be happy until we do bat .1000."
Restocking the ranks of the engineers is one issue Murphy hopes to make up for what he called a "lost decade" that included severe cuts in funding, fare hikes and the cancellation of the ARC Tunnel project by Gov. Chris Christie. Another seven engineers are scheduled to graduate on Wednesday, one of six classes underway.
NJ Transit president and CEO Kevin Corbett said in May that the goal of the agency is to have at least 400 engineers in order to make sure the railroad will be able to stay 100% staffed even when engineers become ill, retire or suddenly seek employment elsewhere. The goal could take up to two years to meet, Corbett has said.
The agency has approximately 335 engineers.
NJ Transit riders offered their opinion on how smoother their ride is:
More from WOBM News: