DATE: 26 March 2010
TO: Mr. James Weinstein, Executive Director and the Board of Directors, NJ TRANSIT
CC: Other relevant public officials and journalists
You are respectfully urged to consider both the long term as well as short term adverse impact of any service reductions and/or fare increases that you may put into effect.
If any service reductions and/or fare increases are enacted, they should be for a very short term with a date of recission specified in order to facilitate a fair and sustainable solution to mass transit financing issues.
This writer is a "senior citizen" (retired school teacher and electronic - electrical technician) who is still active as a journalist.
However, this writer has eliminated the automobile from daily travel in order to be able to survive on a fixed and very modest retirement income.
Therefore, this writer relies almost entirely on public transportation which in New Jersey is primarily Hudson Bergen Light Rail followed in frequency of use by Bus, Rail, Newark Light Rail and the RiverLINE Light Rail.
Frequency of travel (including for religious and educational activities on weekends) makes the monthly pass more feasible than the senior fare on most routes.
Because of some earlier Rail service cuts by NJ TRANSIT, the added cost of using the Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) system is also incurred.
These service reductions were on the Raritan Valley and Morris and Essex Lines between Newark and Hoboken over the past three years.
This, ironically, was during a time that stations were being added to both the Hudson Bergen and Newark Light Rail lines.
Moreover, this was mostly done before the economic collapse, while there were several new retail, entertainment, cultural and other attractions being opened in Newark and Hudson County (the state's two largest metropolitan areas).
Effective marketing rather than service cuts, in this writer's opinion should have increased ridership.
In many years using the services of NJTRANSIT the performance of staff and employees in Rail, Light Rail and Bus divisions has been overwhelmingly superb.
In most advanced nations, the transit system is intended to facilitate and energize the entire economy.
An Amtrak vice-president pointed this fact out to the Editor more than three decades ago in a discussion comparing the passenger rail systems in Europe, Japan and other nations with the one in the United States.
By efficiently moving people to their destinations, commerce, industry and overall productivity are all enhanced.
This is in stark contrast with the model of a "cash cow" enriching a few at the expense of the many that we see as a contemporary challenge in many areas.
A case in point:
China now manufactures and operates the world's fastest passenger trains and is rapidly completing the world's largest high speed railway network.
Another case in point:
Spain has been able to leverage funds for its infrastructure -- especially high-speed rail -- to an amount the United States cannot currently match.
You are strongly encouraged to consider the following relevant information and findings.
Documentaries from the Public Broadcasting Service -
BLUEPRINT AMERICA - Beyond the Motor City
* THE RIDE: How the Transportation Bill Becomes a Law
* Beyond the Motor City: [Video]
* Beyond the Motor City: [Web Video] The Stop at Visalia
* Beyond the Motor City: [Preview]
* Federal transportation law gets one-month extension
Beyond the Motor City: [Web Video] Spain: The Next American System?
as well as material from the American Public Transportation Association
APTA is the leading force in advancing public transportation.
To strengthen and improve public transportation, APTA serves and leads its diverse membership through advocacy, innovation and information sharing. APTA and its members and staff work to ensure that public transportation is available and accessible for all Americans in communities across the country.
which we hope proves helpful in providing solutions beneficial to all.
Urban Cartographer Online
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