NJTRANSIT: We Need Change, Now!
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To the Governor’s office and State Legislature,
We the 900,000+ daily commuters of NJTRANSIT and residents of NJ respectfully request the state government and board of NJTRANSIT to find new leadership for this agency. They should have experience turning around a mass transit system. The current state of NJTRANSIT is unacceptable for the daily riders who are routinely left stranded day after day. We need to hire a transit veteran who has the knowledge and will to turn NJTRANSIT around.
The current leadership has had two years and continues to make excuses for why change has not started to appear on the horizon. Directly across the Hudson River, Andy Byford, a seasoned veteran of large transit systems, is available. He helped to improve mass transit in London and Toronto. These two cities, with large regions they provide service to, are both better served by the transit authorities that Byford managed and oversaw. Recently he helped reshape the NYCTsubways and improve service for users across the system. He is a proven leader with support from those around him, his riders, and the lowest level staff in his organizations. This man can build a winning team. This is the kind of leader NJTRANSIT needs at the helm going forward.
We want success for NJTRANSIT and the daily riders who struggle with unreliable service. Our current leadership has proven over the last two years that they do not have the ability and industry knowledge to bring the change our riders need. Don’t lose this once in a lifetime chance to reshape the mass transit of the largest metro area in the United States. This is vital to the success of our state going forward. With the dedication of secure funding written into law and a strong leadership team, NJTRANSIT can once again be a prominent transit agency serving the residents of New Jersey.
Media Update on Andy Byford:
In a recent, 20 Minute, Interview with CBS, Andy Byford discusses the problems he faced at the MTA and working with the NYCT and Governor's office. See link here. He talked about being left out of meetings, being undermined, and having forces in the MTA working to push them out. In two years he increased on time performance from under 60% to over 80%. In two years! He released the "Fast forward" plan to move the Subways and NYCT in the right direction.
He was asked about NJTransit in the interview as well: “Is it a tantalizing idea?” Kramer asked. “NJT I know has challenges, I’m familiar with them. There would be, of course, the sanctification of just being over the river and affecting a turn-around,” Byford said. Byford says so far, NJ Transit has not called him to offer the job"
Governor, please call Andy and work with him to come to NJTRANSIT. He knows our problems, he has worked in the area. He knows the region. He wants to improve transit organizations and NJTRANSIT is an agency that needs improvement, fast. This man is a leader and people will follow him. He is the leader we want setting the example at the top of NJTRANSIT.
Recent Wide Spread Service Issues at Penn Station Impacting 30,000 Paying Customers, NJ Residents, and their Families:
2/3/20: A signal problem and subsequent power failures in the Amtrak tunnels, left NJT in chaos. Riders were stranded, delays increased from 30-60-90+ minutes without adequate alternatives. NJT continued to push out the same tone deaf tweet listing "60 minute delays," even multiple hours after trains were originally scheduled to depart.
2/27/20: An NJT Engineer, which was admitted by the agency after the fact, failed to stop for a red signal. This one event resulted in delays for commuters increasing to nearly 3 hours for many riders. Again, without an emergency backup plan by NJT, riders stranded were left with no practical alternatives to get home without incurring hours of additional travel time and forced to pay $100+ to take private transportation. These additional costs and stress are in addition to the standard $300+ riders pay for their monthly NJT commute. Many commuters opted to not return to work on 2/28/20 out of stress from the ride the night before.
3/13/20: On Friday the 13th, one of the most stressful days in this country due to information released related to COVID19 virus spreading, NJT added to the stress through an evening rush hour commuted filled with uncertainly, untimely alerts, and again, lack of alternative transportation due to the 3rd widespread outage in a little over one month. NJT reported a 30-minute delay due to an Amtrak power issue in Penn Station at 6:30pm. At 7pm, NJT cancelled ALL trains out of Penn Station. At 7:30pm, NJT reported 60-minute delays out of Penn Station. At 8:30pm, NJT reported 90-minute delays out of Penn Station. A see-saw of communication led to thousands of people standing shoulder to shoulder in Penn Station for hours during a viral pandemic.
The 900,000+ daily riders of NJTRANSIT
Media Coverage of our Petition:
NJ.com / Star Ledger - Larry Higgs
1010 Wins - Samantha Liebman
WCBS880 Radio - Steve Burns
NJ1015.com - David Matthau
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