NJ Transit’s new tool aims to eliminate confusion during severe winter weather
If New Jersey gets the worst of Old Man Winter over the next few months, NJ Transit rail riders will have one question — Level 1 or Level 2?
The agency has announced a pair of preset severe weather schedules that can already be accessed online. Depending on the severity of a significant weather event this winter, NJ Transit will decide whether weekday trains will run at "Severe Weather Schedule — Level 1" or "Severe Weather Schedule — Level 2."
Customers will be informed through social media, broadcast and print media, the NJ Transit website and mobile app, and the agency's email alert system.
Both levels provide more service than a weekend schedule but less service than a full weekday schedule.
"We want to give our customers the opportunity to have a clear picture of just how much service we can offer and, more importantly, when their next train is scheduled," NJ Transit spokesman Jim Smith told New Jersey 101.5. "There won't be any confusion about how much service is running."
Printed versions of the limited weekday schedules will be available Dec. 7 at select NJ Transit stations, terminals and customer service offices.
In the meantime, crews have been hard at work ahead of the colder season, inspecting and winterizing infrastructure, equipment and stations, Smith said.
"This includes checking hundreds of rail cars — their heating systems, ventilation systems, thermostats, weather stripping," he said. "Our bus maintenance personnel have checked engine fluids, tires, windshield wipers, doors on more than 2,000 buses."
For bus operations alone, NJ Transit has 900 tons of bulk salt on standby at 16 garages to clear terminals, lots and bus loops of ice. Another 20,000 pounds of salt are on hand for rail operations.
All locomotives are equipped with snowplows to clear winter precipitation from the rails, the agency noted. In addition, two jet-engine-powered snowblowers are available.
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Contact reporter Dino Flammia at firstname.lastname@example.org.