Amtrak, NJ Transit say they are working together to improve reliability after major disruptions

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Friday, June 28, 2024
Amtrak, NJ Transit say they are working together to improve reliability after major disruptions
Amtrak, NJ Transit say they are working together to improve reliability after major disruptions

NEW JERSEY -- New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy convened a meeting with leaders of Amtrak and New Jersey Transit on Thursday.

The meeting comes after a stretch of major disruptions along the Northeast Corridor.

Commuters last week endured delays and cancellations due to power problems and disabled trains.

Officials from both Amtrak and NJ Transit said they are working together to accelerate the investigation into disruptions and improve reliability between New York and New Jersey.

"We understand the impact the recent events had on both Amtrak and NJ TRANSIT customers and their families, and we share their frustration," Amtrak CEO Stephen Gardner. "It's vital we work with NJ TRANSIT to identify the root cause of these disruptions and return to on-time service and the quality experience customers expect."

NJ Transit President and CEO Kevin Corbett also acknowledged that his company recognizes how disruptive the incidents have been for customers.

"NJ Transit will continue to work jointly with Amtrak to identify the root causes of these incidents as quickly as possible to restore reliability for all our customers," Corbett said.

Part of the joint plan for the companies includes:

-Extensive and frequent catenary and track inspections of the approximately 170 track miles between Trenton and New York City to identify any catenary issues

-NJ Transit with Amtrak assistance is undertaking visual inspections of all pantographs at key stations and NJ Transit has installed high-resolution cameras to inspect pantographs

-Expansion of the helicopter catenary inspection and repair program

-Additional longer-term actions to address state of good repair of Amtrak infrastructure

The announcement from the two companies comes as a 15% fare hike for NJ Transit is supposed to start on Monday.

On Thursday morning, Congresswoman Mikie Sherill called for a pause on the hike until the service becomes more reliable.

"During the past few weeks, NJ TRANSIT commuters have experienced unacceptable delays due to breakdowns on Amtrak's Northeast Corridor. Now, New Jerseyans are staring down a 15 percent rate hike - all while disruptions continue," Sherrill said. "I understand the difficult budget circumstances for NJ TRANSIT, but this is a textbook example of inconsistent planning and short-term thinking that has been far too typical in Trenton and Washington. Families deserve a break - not a fare hike, which is why I am calling on NJ TRANSIT to pause and reevaluate these plans until New Jersey commuters have the reliable service they expect and deserve."

On Tuesday, the entire New Jersey Congressional Delegation demanded that Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg launch an investigation into the problems along the Northeast Corridor that have caused thousands of hours of delays for New Jersey commuters.