The Christie Administration in New Jersey announced today that NJ TRANSIT will begin a gradual system-wide shutdown of all bus, rail, light rail and Access Link service, starting at 4:00 p.m. this afternoon and continuing through 2:00 a.m. on Monday morning.
Further, the Administration announced that the Atlantic City Rail Line will suspend operations effective at 4:00 p.m. due to the rapidly declining weather conditions within the region and the continued evacuation of Atlantic City.
Train 4678 will be the last train leaving Atlantic City this afternoon. This train will leave Atlantic City at 2:43 p.m. and will arrive in Philadelphia at 4:19 p.m. Train 4679 will be the last train leaving Philadelphia on the Atlantic City Rail Line. This train will depart Philadelphia at 2:39 p.m. and terminate in Absecon at 4:00 p.m.
“NJ TRANSIT’s top priority is, has been and will continue to be the safety of our customers, our employees and the citizens of the Garden State”, said NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman and New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner James Simpson. “This prudent and necessary action will enable NJ TRANSIT to further support our state’s response to Hurricane Sandy; freeing up resources that may be needed to further facilitate hurricane relief.”
The suspension of NJ TRANSIT service will require a minimum of 12 hours to complete. The process requires the relocation and securing of buses, rail equipment and other NJ TRANSIT assets away from flood-prone areas. It also requires complete coordination with state and local officials throughout the process.
“NJ TRANSIT customers should begin to prepare for the possible, sustained interruption of service” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director James Weinstein. “This is a dangerous and destructive Hurricane with the potential to cause large-scale power losses, wind damage and both coastal and river flooding – all of which will impact NJ TRANSIT service during and after the storm”
During Hurricane Irene, NJ TRANSIT implemented a full-scale system shutdown spanning nearly 36 hours. This decision is credited with saving billions in NJ TRANSIT assets, which enabled NJ TRANSIT to restart service with all equipment available for use. Additionally, no customer or employee injuries were reported during this time.
Following the conclusion of the storm, NJ TRANSIT will assess the status of the system and test critical infrastructure before making any decisions regarding the potential resumption of service. Updates will be provided to customers and the public during this time.
Customers utilizing NJ TRANSIT services for the remainder of today are also reminded to check njtransit.com, or call 973-275-5555 for service updates. Due to expected weather conditions, NJ TRANSIT services are subject to delays or potential cancellations.
The following NJ TRANSIT service advisories are in effect.
· All NJ TRANSIT bus service to and from Atlantic City will be suspended at midnight.
· All other NJ TRANSIT bus service will be suspended effective 2 a.m. Monday, October 29, 2012.
· NJ TRANSIT buses that are already enroute at 2 a.m. will complete their trips.
Light Rail Service:
· Hudson-Bergen, River Line and Newark light rail services will be suspended effective 2 a.m. Monday, October 29, 2012.
· Light rail services that are already enroute at 2 a.m. will complete their trips.
Access Link Service:
· All Access Link Service to and from Atlantic City will be suspended after 4:00 p.m. this afternoon.
All other Access Link service will be suspended effective 2 a.m. Monday, October 29, 2012.
The Atlantic City Rail Line will suspend operations this afternoon, due to the rapidly declining weather conditions within the region and the continued evacuation of Atlantic City. Train 4678 will be the last train leaving Atlantic City this afternoon. This train will leave Atlantic City at 2:43 p.m. and will arrive in Philadelphia at 4:19 p.m. Train 4679 will be the last train leaving Philadelphia on the Atlantic City Rail Line. This train will depart Philadelphia at 2:39 p.m. and terminate in Absecon at 4:00 p.m.
On all other rail lines, final train times will be posted on NJTRANSIT.com
Indoor waiting rooms at major rail hubs such as Newark Penn Station, Secaucus Junction and Trenton Transit Center will remain open to provide customers with shelter during the storm.
On Saturday, Governor Christie announced system-wide cross-honoring of all rail, bus and light rail tickets starting Monday, 12:00 a.m. and continuing through Wednesday, 6 a.m. This remains in effect, and will allow customers holding NJ TRANSIT tickets to use alternate means of transportation to get to their final destination, such as PATH, PATCO and private bus carriers. Due to the duration of the storm and the potential impact to the NJ TRANSIT system, this timeframe could be extended if necessary.
For the latest travel information, customers should listen to broadcast traffic reports, visit njtransit.com or access NJ TRANSIT’s Twitter feed at @NJ_TRANSIT. Additionally, NJ TRANSIT will provide the most current service information via the My Transit alert system (www.njtransit.com/mytransit), which delivers travel advisories for your specific trip to your cell phone, PDA or pager. Service information is also available by calling (973) 275-5555.
NJ TRANSIT PREPARATIONS FOR HURRICANE SANDY
Rail and Light Rail Operations
NJ TRANSIT’s maintenance forces continue inspecting culverts, drainage pipes and rights-of-way to ensure they are clear of blockages that could exacerbate flooding and disrupt service.
NJ TRANSIT rail and light rail crews and equipment are on standby to respond to downed trees, wires and flooding.
Bus and Access Link Operations
NJ TRANSIT Bus and Access Link maintenance and support staff will be on standby 24/7 to respond where needed.
Customer Service Field Offices will extend their hours of operations if necessary.
The Transit Information Office (TIC) – NJ TRANSIT’s call center, is also prepared to extend its hours if necessary.