Executive Order No. 80 (2019) -

Executive Order No. 80 (2019)

Governor Philip D. Murphy

Executive Order No. 80 (2019)

An Order Mandating that the New Jersey Transit Board of Directors Issue a Monthly Performance Report on the Commuter Rail Service

Issued: August 19, 2019.

Effective: August 19, 2019.

WHEREAS, the New Jersey Transit Corporation ("NJ Transit") is a vital resource to its nearly half-a-million commuters who live and work in New Jersey; and

WHEREAS, NJ Transit provides more than 910,000 weekday trips, and 265 million passenger rides each year; and

WHEREAS, NJ Transit rail operations take place in a very complex environment within the busiest rail corridor in the United States; and

WHEREAS, once deemed a national model of commuter rail service, NJ Transit has experienced performance declines in many areas that are critical to the successful operation of the system; and

WHEREAS, the combination of a more than 90 percent reduction in the State operating subsidy from Fiscal Year 2009 to Fiscal Year 2016 and a substantial increase in ridership of 23 percent from 2002 to 2017 resulted in significant fare increases, minimal capital investment, mechanical failures, safety concerns, and overall customer dissatisfaction; and

WHEREAS, NJ Transit has had to divert billions of dollars from its capital budget to support operating expenses, and since 1990, has diverted $ 7 billion that could have been invested in new rail cars, track upgrades, and rail line extensions; and

WHEREAS, NJ Transit was subject to a federally mandated December 31, 2018 deadline for installing Positive Train Control ("PTC") technology, a valuable addition to the safety resources available to rail operations, but fell behind in meeting its installation milestones at the end of the prior administration; and

WHEREAS, since the beginning of my Administration, we have worked to turn NJ Transit around by making significant strides in reversing the damage that has resulted from chronic underinvestment in NJ Transit; and

WHEREAS, the Fiscal Year 2020 Appropriations Act included a $ 316.6 million, or 225 percent, increase in the General Fund operating subsidy from Fiscal Year 2018 to support and strengthen the public transit system so many New Jerseyans rely on every day without raising fares in Fiscal Years 2019 or 2020; and

WHEREAS, in 2018, NJ Transit launched a major marketing and recruitment effort to fill critical positions in the agency, particularly bus operators and locomotive engineers; and

WHEREAS, since 2018, NJ Transit has hired 500 new bus operators and 102 locomotive engineer trainees to fill longstanding vacancies; and

WHEREAS, for the first time in its history, NJ Transit has six locomotive training classes running concurrently, with five of those classes having begun in 2018, and in October 2018, NJ Transit debuted its new locomotive engineer training class with 14 assistant conductors training to become engineers; and

WHEREAS, through the hard work and dedication of its staff, NJ Transit met the December 31, 2018 deadline for PTC installation and was able to return several lines of service ahead of schedule; and

WHEREAS, NJ Transit has actively and aggressively taken action to improve service and communications in the aftermath of Executive Order No. 5 (2018), particularly given the results of the comprehensive strategic, financial and operational assessment released in October 2018; and

WHEREAS, while these actions and improvements are laudable, this Administration will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that NJ Transit regains its position as one of the nation's premier transit systems; and

WHEREAS, those efforts must include continuously working to improve the experience of NJ Transit commuters; and

WHEREAS, measuring and communicating NJ Transit performance metrics are an integral component of promoting commuter satisfaction and conveying the importance of mass transit to the public; and

WHEREAS, performance metrics that capture reliability of transit service are recognized as a significant indicator of quality of service; and

WHEREAS, making performance metrics available will inform the public of NJ Transit's progress and will allow the public to hold the State's leadership accountable on its efforts to enhance NJ Transit service;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, PHILIP D. MURPHY, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:

1. Beginning for the month of October 2019, the Commissioner of Transportation ("Commissioner"), who also serves as Chair of the NJ Transit Board of Directors, shall consider all reasonable efforts to make readily available to the public, on a monthly basis, key information related to the performance of NJ Transit's commuter rail service. The information shall include:

a. The total number of cancellations occurring each month, and a listing of the specific types of cancellations, including the following:

1) cancellations due to Amtrak-related issues,

2) cancellations caused by manpower shortages,

3) cancellations caused by weather, trespasser, or similarly unpreventable incidents,

4) cancellations caused by NJ Transit infrastructure, including equipment, mechanical failure, and signalization, and

5) cancellations that are the result of carryover from prolonged network delays;

b. The rail on-time performance and mean distance between failure of NJ Transit commuter rail systems; and

c. Any other information that the Commissioner deems appropriate to inform commuters of commuter rail performance.

2. The first release of the information listed above shall include historical month-by-month information of this type going back to January 2017.

3. In addition to commuter rail service, the Commissioner shall consider all reasonable efforts to make information on NJ Transit Bus, Light Rail, and Access Link services publicly available as soon as it is practicable to capture and release the information in a manner that is useful for public consumption.

4. The Commissioner shall consider all reasonable efforts to make such information available on the Internet website of NJ Transit.

5. Each department, office, division, and agency of this State is hereby required, to the extent not inconsistent with law and consistent with budgetary constraints, to cooperate fully with the Commissioner and to furnish the Commissioner with such relevant information and assistance on a timely basis as is necessary to accomplish the purposes of this Order.

6. This Order shall take effect immediately.

(Published December 5, 2011 in the New Jersey Register at 43 N.J.R. 3117(a). Published September 19, 2019 in the New Jersey Register at 51 N.J.R. 1450(a).)

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