As the state prepares for Stage Two reopening, officials say NJ Transit will have an even more crucial role in getting employees back to work. On Monday CEO Kevin Corbett unveiled the agency’s first-ever 10 year strategic plan. It addresses the years of disinvestment by the state and includes a capital plan to determine which projects are most in need of funding. During the pandemic, train and bus ridership plummeted more than 90% and the agency is predicting more than a $2.5 budget deficit from lack of fare revenue.
“This plan was coming together well before our current emergency took hold, but it fully includes actions to give customers and transit operators confidence as we begin our restart and recovery, including enhanced cleaning, social distancing and the use of personal protective equipment among both customers and employees, enhanced communications, and greater cooperation with our regional transit partners to defend against spread of the virus and share best practices,” Gov. Phil Murphy said during Monday’s press briefing.
“We know that we will need to work cooperatively, both within state government and with our federal partners to meet NJ Transit’s identified short-term and long-term capital needs. No one will deny the challenge, but we must work creatively and together to meet them. We cannot allow the past three years of progress to be undone,” Murphy continued.