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Poll: How Do You Rate the Performance of the Outgoing Head of NJT?

The Christie administration shows Jim Weinstein the door, but is there more to his tenure than Hurricane Sandy and the Super Bowl tie-up?

Jim Weinstein, executive director of NJ Transit, has come to an abrupt end of his recently troubled tenure, with Gov. Chris Christie's office announcing earlier in the week that he was to be replaced. The director of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority will take his place.

Weinstein, a former state Department of Transportation commissioner and NJ Transit board chairman, has headed the agency for the past four years.

The last half of his tenure has been stormy, starting with superstorm Sandy and more than $100 million in damage to some 300 rail cars and locomotives due to flooding in the rail yard where they were stored, and ending with thousands of Super Bowl fans forced to wait hours for a ride out of MetLife Stadium because the transit system couldn't handle their large numbers. That has far overshadowed several accomplishments of which Weinstein is proud, including more than three years without a fare hike.

How do you rate Weinstein's performance?

  • Great. He put together a lot of small but improvements to the service, including "quiet cars" on peak hour trains and an app that allows riders to check when the next bus will arrive and buy and show rail tickets. Weinstein is getting a bum rap for the Super Bowl tie-ups -- the NFL did not accurately estimate the number of mass transit riders -- and superstorm Sandy overwhelmed even the best plans.

  • Good. Running the nation's third-largest commuter system isn't easy, but he did a yeoman's job, improving stations in Elizabeth and other locations and opening new stations in Wood-Ridge and Pennsauken -- all without a fare increase in more than three years. And NJT's customer satisfaction surveys allow the agency to target improvements based on riders' complaints. There have been some missteps, but the positives outweigh any negatives.

  • Poor. Only 77 percent of Transit's riders would recommend its transportation options to a friend, despite the agency's spending of more than $3 billion a year on operations and capital projects. Riders who rated NJT gave it a grade of only 5.8 out of 10 for on-time performance and the agency itself acknowledges it needs to improve this. While fares have not risen in three years, bus fares rose by 10 percent and rail tickets went up a whopping 25 percent at the start of Weinstein's tenure and that still smarts.

  • Awful. Is there really anything else to say besides superstorm and Super Bowl? NJT left hundreds of cars in the path of a storm of epic proportions despite having plenty of notice of its barreling into the state and then it took two months to get all rail lines back on schedule. And how, given it was being advertised as the first mass-transit Super Bowl, could NJT not have been prepared for the 32,000 fans who rode the rails to the game and had to wait hours to get home?

  • Who cares? I work from home.

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