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Proposed Bergen County bus rapid transit routes narrowed to three

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Proposed Bergen County bus rapid transit routes narrowed to three

By Myles Ma | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
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on November 14, 2014 at 6:00 AM, updated November 14, 2014 at 6:20 AM

HACKENSACK — A study on bringing bus rapid transit to Bergen County has culled a list of potential routes down to three.

They are:

• Montvale Park and Ride to Secaucus Junction, with stops at Paramus Park Mall, Bergen Community College, Garden State Plaza, a future Summit Avenue bus stop in Hackensack, the Meadowlands and Harmon Meadow.

• Paramus Park to Secaucus Junction, with stops at Bergen Town Center, downtown Hackensack, the Meadowlands and the Bergen Community College Lyndhurst campus. The downtown Hackensack stops include Hackensack University Medical Center, the Essex Street train station, the Bergen County Courthouse and the Hackensack bus terminal.

• Paterson’s Broadway Bus Terminal to Englewood Hospital, with stops at St. Joseph’s Medical Center, Garden State Plaza, downtown Hackensack and Overpeck County Park.

Bergen County, NJ Transit and a team of consultants presented the routes Thursday night at the Bergen Community College Hackensack campus. Their aim, said Joseph Barr, a consultant with Parsons Brinckerhoff, is to bring faster, more reliable and easier to use bus service to the county.

The team estimates the three routes will carry about 9,000 riders a day.

http://www.nj.com/bergen/index.ssf/2014/11/proposed_bergen_county_bus_rapid_transit_routes_narrowed_to_three.html

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Changes at Port Authority Bus Terminal easing gridlock?

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Changes at Port Authority Bus Terminal easing gridlock?

Editors Note : Lots of construction but no noticeable improvements on any of the busses we take , file this article under , more tales from the land of make believe  , whats your experience ?NOVEMBER 12, 2014    LAST UPDATED: WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2014, 12:49 AM
BY CHRISTOPHER MAAG
STAFF WRITER |
THE RECORDFor months this summer, the Port Authority Bus Terminal was so crowded and NJ Transit Bus 163 to Paramus often ran so late that Robert Celikbas rarely made it home in time to put his baby to bed.“It was sad. I never saw my daughter,” said Celikbas, 34, an accountant in Manhattan who started looking for jobs in New Jersey to avoid commuting through the terminal.

In the last few weeks, though, something has changed. Lines inside the terminal became shorter. The 163 started leaving on time. And Celikbas now spends an hour and a half at home every night with his 7-month-old daughter.

“I don’t know how they did it,” he said. “But this is definitely better.”

After years of growing congestion — and frustration — at the midtown Manhattan bus station, gridlock reached crisis proportions this summer. Buses were late, lines of commuters snaked around the building, and commuters became enraged.

Officials from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the building on Eighth Avenue between 40th and 42nd streets, and NJ Transit, which operates 70 percent of the buses using the terminal, promised immediate changes. A new order started on Sept. 15 that included adding personnel to manage traffic and to redirect bus drivers as needed. Its focus: Keep those buses rolling.

“As long as we keep buses moving through the building, that’s the key to the whole thing,” said Mike Kilcoyne, deputy general manager of bus operations for NJ Transit.

The results, while preliminary, have been dramatic. The number of buses passing though the terminal every weekday evening is up 23 percent, said Cedrick Fulton, director of tunnels, bridges and terminals for the Port Authority.

Customer complaints in the last two weeks of September, just after the new system started, were 50 percent lower than for the comparable period a year earlier, said Nancy Snyder, a spokeswoman for NJ Transit.

http://www.northjersey.com/news/changes-at-port-authority-bus-terminal-easing-gridlock-1.1131532

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NJ Transit continues customer service improvements

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NJ Transit continues customer service improvements

By David Matthau November 10, 2014 12:05 AM
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New Jersey Transit, the third largest transit system in the U.S., is continuing its efforts to improve customer service by seeking feedback from its rail and bus customers.

NJ Transit trains (Annette Petriccione, Townsquare Media NJ)

In 2011, the agency launched its Scorecard initiative, which  includes an online customer survey that gives riders the chance to rate NJ Transit’s overall performance in several areas including communication, rail and bus comfort, parking lot safety and customer service.

Customers are also able to offer suggestions for improvement, which NJ Transit said it uses to make meaningful management decisions.

“Soliciting customer feedback and getting customer satisfaction is now a top priority at NJ Transit. We encourage people to reach out to us with emails and through customer satisfaction surveys. If there’s something that we’re missing, we want to hear from our customers,” said William Smith, a spokesperson for NJ Transit.

One of the improvements made thanks to the customer service surveys is more accessibility to Wi-Fi.  “A program has been launched to offer Wi-Fi at many train stations across the state. Currently there are 40 rail stations that are on-air, and by the end of the year, another 30 stations will be added to the network,” Smith said.

Read More: NJ Transit continues customer service improvements | http://nj1015.com/nj-transit-continues-customer-service-improvements/?trackback=tsmclip

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Rep. Scott Garrett calls new Hudson River train tunnel vital

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Rep. Scott Garrett calls new Hudson River train tunnel vital

OCTOBER 23, 2014, 11:35 PM    LAST UPDATED: THURSDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2014, 11:42 PM
BY HERB JACKSON
WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT | 
THE RECORD

Rep. Scott Garrett said Thursday that a new train tunnel should be built under the Hudson River “sooner rather than later” because the potential closing of one or both of the existing tunnels owned by Amtrak “would be a nightmare.”

But Garrett, in a meeting with the editorial board of The Record, said leaders in New Jersey and New York should reach an agreement first on what share of the cost they would bear if they want Washington to become involved.

– See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/news/rep-scott-garrett-calls-new-hudson-river-train-tunnel-vital-1.1116958#sthash.KITPPupd.dpuf

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Paychecks for 2,900 NJ Transit employees delayed after payroll glitch

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Paychecks for 2,900 NJ Transit employees delayed after payroll glitch

October 3, 2014, 5:09 PM    Last updated: Friday, October 3, 2014, 7:28 PM
By JOHN CICHOWSKI
staff writer
The Record

Some 2,900 NJ Transit rail employees were unpleasantly surprised this week when they tried to access paychecks that usually are posted in their bank accounts at 12:01 a.m. each Thursday.

In the latest of several embarrassing blunders, the nation’s biggest statewide commuter rail system had somehow failed to transmit payroll funds to more than 25 percent of its 11,000 employees. Its executive director, Veronique “Ronnie” Hakim, blamed the glitch on an upgrade to a new electronic payroll system managed by a Canadian vendor, the Highline Corp.

“Unfortunately, we had a processing error with this new system that impacted our rail employees who received their paycheck via direct deposit,” said Hakim.

Adjustments to the system “resolved the issue” quickly, she said in her email, although payments were delayed until Friday in some instances. Only non-union operations employees were affected by the processing error. For example, police and executives, who are paid under a different system, were not inconvenienced, said an agency spokeswoman who attempted to downplay the oversight.

Some employees agreed.

“For some of us it turned out to be a small inconvenience,” said one man who asked not to be identified. “But for those who live hand to mouth, it was just another reason to complain about how the place is run.”

Hakim took the helm of NJ Transit early this year, replacing James Weinstein whose four-year tenure was marred by several management blunders including the loss of millions of dollars in rail cars and equipment during Superstorm Sandy, extra-long rail delays at MetLife Stadium following the Super Bowl, and a failure to renew federal registrations for the agency’s trademark logos.

– See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/news/paychecks-for-2-900-nj-transit-employees-delayed-after-payroll-glitch-1.1102268#sthash.fQFQFq29.dpuf

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Parking Meter Scandal : he could not have acted alone

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file photo by Boyd Loving
Parking Meter Scandal : he could not have acted alone
Readers continue to speculate on parking meter security issues and continue to come up with one resounding conclusion ,he could not have acted alone .
Even a $41 million renovation of the Ridgewood Train station did not change the out dated parking meter system .
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While ,Village officials said a forensic accounting firm has been retained to examine how a former employee managed to steal $460,000 in quarters from parking meters.

See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/news/ridgewood-hires-auditor-in-460-000-meter-thefts-1.1050247#sthash.Ut7rRzDP.dpuf

Although I’m not convinced that all meters would need to be replaced in order to implement a closed container/collection system, I’ll give the Village Manager the benefit of the doubt.

But, at a minimum, they should deep six those open white paint buckets/pickle containers and have all collectors use the carts depicted here:

http://www.pom.com/collectionsystems.htm

Continuing to use those buckets is a huge security risk, for the individual collecting monies (holdup/robbery) and for taxpayers (shrinkage).

It is actually very funny that we can’t afford to secure the Villages’s cash. I’m sure there is a solution out there that costs less than $460,000.

They made a deal and I’m hoping the whole story will come out eventually. Who in the police dept. is/are being protected?

Yet again, taxpayers getting screwed to protect some mob/union crony(ies) in Village Hall and/or the PD. Put in smart meters like NYC and let people use credit cards… how are we doing on Tommy Boy’s restitution ? Is he paying us back every week? The guy is obviously a wise guy, and refused to rat out his minders in Village Hall.

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NJ TRANSIT OFFERS ‘EARLY GETAWAY’ SERVICE FOR LABOR DAY WEEKEND

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NJ TRANSIT OFFERS ‘EARLY GETAWAY’ SERVICE FOR LABOR DAY WEEKEND

Kids ride free all weekend with Family SuperSaver Fare
August 27, 2014

NEWARK, NJ — NJ TRANSIT will offer “early getaway” rail and bus service on Friday, August 29, for the benefit of customers leaving work early for the Labor Day holiday weekend.

On Friday, August 29, extra outbound trains will operate on the Northeast Corridor, North Jersey Coast, Raritan Valley, Morris & Essex and Port Jervis lines starting at approximately 1 p.m.  Extra buses will operate from the Port Authority Bus Terminal on more than a dozen bus routes starting around noon.  Visit njtransit.com for details.

On Labor Day, Monday, September 1, trains will operate on a weekend/major holiday schedule on all lines.  Hudson-Bergen Light Rail will operate on a weekend schedule. Newark Light Rail will operate on a Saturday schedule.  River Line will operate on a Sunday schedule.  Bus schedules vary by route—customers are advised to check their timetables or visit njtransit.com for schedule information.

For complete schedules and fares, visit njtransit.com or call 973-275-5555.

Summer Savings

With summer winding down, there is still time to take advantage of NJ TRANSIT’s discounted travel packages to destinations including the Jersey Shore, Six Flags Great Adventure, Monmouth Park Racetrack and Mountain Creek Action Park:

Beach Packages:  Save up to $6.50 on admission to one of five beaches— Long Branch, Asbury Park, Ocean Grove, Bradley Beach and Belmar—by purchasing round-trip train fare and a beach pass for one price at NJ TRANSIT ticket vending machines (choose “Special Promotions” and select “Beach Package”) or at ticket windows.  Customers can purchase the package for $31.50 from New York Penn Station or any station on the Main, Bergen County or Pascack Valley lines (except from Metro-North stations), and for $23.50 from Hoboken Terminal or Newark Penn Station.  Beach packages are now on sale daily through Labor Day, Monday, September 1.

Shore Express:  Enjoy a shorter trip and one-seat ride to the Jersey Shore with NJ TRANSIT’s new express service, departing New York Penn Station at 7:52 a.m. and 10:01 a.m. and stopping at Secaucus Junction, Newark Penn Station, Elizabeth, Rahway, Aberdeen-Matawan, Red Bank, Long Branch, Asbury Park, Bradley Beach, Belmar, Spring Lake, Manasquan, Point Pleasant Beach and Bay Head without having to change trains in Long Branch.  Return trips will depart Bay Head at 4:54 p.m. and 6:54 p.m. This express service will operate on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays through September 1, supplementing NJ TRANSIT’s hourly rail service between Long Branch and Bay Head.
Shore EZride Jitney provides shuttle service to beaches, shopping and dining locations from Long Branch Station.  NJ TRANSIT customers can ride the jitney for free with a coupon available on njtransit.com/shore.

Six Flags Great Adventure and Safari or Hurricane Harbor:  Save up to $40 by purchasing round-trip bus transportation and park admission together.  NJ TRANSIT provides express bus service to Six Flags from the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York, Newark Penn Station, Philadelphia Greyhound Terminal, Walter Rand Transportation Center in Camden, and from Freehold.
Monmouth Park:  Board a train anywhere on NJ TRANSIT’s rail system and save up to $5.50 when you travel to Monmouth Park Racetrack.  Simply purchase a round-trip package to Monmouth Park from NJ TRANSIT ticket vending machines (choose “Special Promotions” and select “Monmouth Park Racetrack”) or at ticket windows, and receive Grandstand Admission and an official track program for $1 plus round-trip train fare.
Mountain Creek Action Park:  Save $8 on the adult admission price when you ride Bus No. 304 from the Port Authority Bus Terminal, Weehawken, Union City, North Bergen or Wayne/Route 23 Transit Center on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays through September 1.

For details on NJ TRANSIT’s Summer Services and customer discounts, visit njtransit.com/summer.

On weekends, kids ride free on NJT

Every weekend, families riding NJ TRANSIT can save with the Family SuperSaver Fare, which allows two children 11 and younger to travel free with each fare-paying adult.  For the Labor Day holiday weekend, the program will be in effect from 7 p.m. Friday, August 29 until 6 a.m. Tuesday, September 2.

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New NJ Transit data shows buses even later than suspected

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New NJ Transit data shows buses even later than suspected

AUGUST 21, 2014    LAST UPDATED: THURSDAY, AUGUST 21, 2014, 1:21 AM
BY CHRISTOPHER MAAG
STAFF WRITER
THE RECORD

For years, commuters have complained that NJ Transit buses run late. The evidence was flimsy, however, because data released by the agency tracked only buses departing major terminals. At the Port Authority Bus Terminal, for example, the vast majority of buses — 86 percent — leave on time, according to NJ Transit’s figures from June.

On Wednesday, NJ Transit released far more detailed data, looking not just at when buses start their routes, but also when they arrive at their scheduled stops.

Just as many commuters suspected, the system’s on-time performance is much worse than previously reported. NJ Transit buses arrive on time for their scheduled stops just 68 percent of the time, according to data released at a meeting on NJ Transit customer service. By the agency’s definition, an “on-time” arrival falls within a seven-minute window, starting one minute before the scheduled arrival time and arriving up to six minutes late.

– See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/news/nj-state-news/nj-transit-data-on-bus-service-confirm-worst-suspicions-1.1070833#sthash.UT3Uh3Nq.dpuf

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Ridgewood Police: West Glen Avenue Train Trestle Painting Project

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Ridgewood Police: West Glen Avenue Train Trestle Painting Project 

New Jersey Transit will begin painting the West Glen Avenue Train Trestle starting the project on or about Friday, August 1st.

Transit anticipates that the work will require alternating lanes of traffic (one lane closed to do the work). Each lane closure should take no more than 1.5 weeks, for a total of 3 weeks of lane restriction. Hours of work are scheduled to be 8:00am to 4:30pm Monday through Friday. Some Saturday work may be required to keep to the schedule.

Traffic will be controlled by Ridgewood Police Officers when the road is restricted to one lane of travel.

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NJ TRANSIT ADOPTS FISCAL YEAR 2015 OPERATING, CAPITAL BUDGETS NO FARE INCREASE NJ TRANSIT ADOPTS FISCAL YEAR 2015 OPERATING, CAPITAL BUDGETS NO FARE INCREASE

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NJ TRANSIT ADOPTS FISCAL YEAR 2015 OPERATING, CAPITAL BUDGETS NO FARE INCREASE 

Fares held stable for fifth consecutive fiscal year
July 9, 2014


NEWARK, NJ — The NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors today approved a Fiscal Year 2015 (FY 2015) operating budget that holds fares stable for the fifth consecutive fiscal year, as well as a capital program that supports continued investments in infrastructure and equipment to maintain the system in a state of good repair and enhance the overall customer experience.  

“NJ TRANSIT is moving forward with a balanced, fiscally-sound budget that holds the line on fares for a fifth consecutive year and continues to deliver the same level of service to our customers,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Veronique “Ronnie” Hakim.  “We will continue to operate as efficiently and effectively as possible to best respond to the needs of the customers who rely on our service day in and day out.” 

The Board approved a $2.019 billion operating budget and a $1.203 billion capital program for the fiscal year that started July 1, 2014. 

Nearly half of the revenue in the FY 2015 operating budget comes from fares ($928.6 million), supported by a comparable amount from state and federal program reimbursements ($936.1 million) with the balance from a combination of commercial revenues ($113.7 million) and state operating assistance ($40.3 million).

The capital program funds continued state-of-good-repair investments in transit stations and infrastructure, supports an ongoing fleet modernization program and advances service reliability, safety and technology initiatives. 

Operating Budget

The FY 2015 operating budget reflects a stable level of state, federal and other reimbursements, which will enable NJ TRANSIT to hold fares stable this fiscal year.

Approximately 58 percent of the operating budget is dedicated to labor and fringe benefits costs.  Other significant expenses include contracted transportation services, fuel and power, and materials, which together comprise approximately 28 percent of the operating budget.

This year’s operating budget reflects an $8 million (one percent) growth in passenger revenue, based on employment projections and ridership trends.  Overall passenger revenue and commercial revenue represents approximately 52 percent of the total FY 2015 operating program.

Capital Program

The FY 2015 capital program continues to prioritize investment in infrastructure to maintain an overall state of good repair, enhance reliability and safety, and improve the overall customer experience on the system. 

The program continues to invest in upgrades to the Northeast Corridor (NEC), the agency’s most utilized rail line.  The NEC is allocated $76 million in FY 2015 as part of NJ TRANSIT’s ten-year, $1 billion Northeast Corridor investment program that includes funding for the new North Brunswick Station, the Mid-Line Loop—a new flyover track to improve Corridor operations and increase operational efficiencies—and upgrades to County Yard. 

Highlights of the program include $46 million in rail station improvements, including $9 million for Elizabeth Station reconstruction, $5 million for Newark Penn Station improvements, and $12 million for projects to make Perth Amboy and Lyndhurst stations accessible to customers with disabilities.

The program also supports continued investment in rolling stock renewal, with $104 million invested in rail rolling stock improvements and $44 million toward the purchase of new buses.

Funding is also provided for technology and security upgrades, and rail, bus and light rail infrastructure improvements.   

Approximately 40 percent of the capital budget comes from the Transportation Trust Fund, with the balance coming from federal and other sources.

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