Residents across the state who use New Jersey Transit will have widespread options for travel during the pending winter storm, NJ Transit announced Thursday afternoon, Feb. 7.
The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) is taking steps to ensure the roads are safe for travel.
A projected winter storm is set to attack much of the area this weekend, with an advisory in effect through Saturday morning. The storm is not expected to be as severe in Atlantic and Cape May counties.
In preparation for the storm, NJ Transit announced it will offer full system-wide cross honoring on Friday, Feb. 8 and Saturday, Feb. 9, meaning travelers can use their bus tickets for train service.
For example, those who use the bus service from Rutherford to the Port Authority Bus Terminal may use their passes or tickets for the train from Rutherford to Penn Station in New York. Those who use the bus between Atlantic City and Lindenwold may take the Atlantic City Rail Line at no additional charge, according to NJ Transit.
NJ Transit is advising customers to consider early travel on Friday, as the storm is expected to have an impact on the evening commute. NJ Transit will monitor crowds at Penn Station, Hoboken Terminal and the Port Authority Bus Terminal, and make adjustments as necessary. It is advising customers to check njtransit.com before traveling for up-to-the-minute service information before starting their trip.
Rail and light rail crews will be on standby in an effort to respond to downed trees, power outages or other issues that may come up, and locomotives will be positioned at strategic locations across the rail system to respond to any disabled trains, according to NJ Transit.
NJ Transit is prepared to make use of snow plows and salt spreaders, and snow removal contracts are already in place with outside vendors. Additionally:
- NJ Transit has 16,000 bags of snow-melting supplies, as well as hundreds of shovels and snow blowers;
- Two rail-mounted jet snow blowers have been tested in case they are needed to clear tracks of snow and ice;
- More than 750 rail switches, switch heaters and overhead wires have been inspected;
- Onboard heating systems, thermostats, weather stripping and electronic components have been inspected on NJ TRANSIT railcars, light rail cars and locomotives; and
- Maintenance has beem conducted on nearly 2,200 buses, including heating and airbrake systems, to the engine fluids, tires, windshield wipers and doors.
Additionally, the NJDOT announced staff and contractors were ready to mobilize, if the need arises. Roads have been pre-treated, and the following resources are available:
· 1,400 contractor snow plows
· 450 NJDOT salt-spreader trucks and plows
· 200 contractor salt-spreader trucks
Snow and ice-melting supplies are on hand, including rock salt, liquid calcium and salt-water brine solution, and NJDOT crews and contractors are prepared to work as long as it takes to keep interstate and state highways as safe as possible, NJDOT representatives said.
The transportation system will operate its services on a normal weekday schedule on Friday, and a normal weekend schedule on Saturday, but will make any necessary adjustments should the need arise. NJ Transit is advising customers to be aware of delays and detours due to extreme weather.
NJ Transit offered the following additional advice:
- For the latest travel information, visit njtransit.com or access our Twitter feed at @NJ_TRANSIT prior to starting your trip. In the event of delays or service adjustments, NJ TRANSIT will provide the most current service information via the My Transit alert system, which delivers travel advisories for your specific trip to your cell phone, PDA or pager. (If you are not yet a My Transit subscriber, we encourage you to sign up at www.njtransit.com/mytransit) Service information is also available by calling (973) 275-5555 or from broadcast traffic reports.
- Listen closely to public address announcements at stations for late-breaking service information.
- Build additional travel time into your trip to a station, terminal or bus stop.
- Stairs, flooring and platforms can be slippery, so please use caution when walking along wet surfaces or any outdoor surface exposed to the weather. Use extra care when boarding or exiting buses and trains.
- Report slippery or unsafe conditions to bus operators, train crews or NJ TRANSIT staff.
- If you park, ensure your car is stocked with a snow brush and ice scraper so you can clear your car upon returning to the lot.