In response to recent incidents causing extensive delays and inconvenience to thousands of customers, including power outages and a derailment, New Jersey Transit (NJT) created a task force to respond to major incidents.
The 22-member task force, which includes representatives from the United Transportation Union and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, issued recommendations to improve the NJT's response. Those include:
Stopping the first available train at the incident to rescue passengers.
Equipping trains and stations with bullhorns.
Establishing new crew size standards for eight, 10 and 12-car trains.
Providing more immediate communication by equipping all train crews with radios to keep passengers better informed.
Training all 100 rail operations managers on incident command and control within 90 days.
"It was clear that NJ Transit's response to the July 14th derailment was inadequate," said NJ Transit's Jack Lettiere. "NJ Transit customers deserve better and these recommendations do just that by greatly strengthening the corporation's abilities to respond to incidents and the needs of the customers."
The task force also included long-term recommendations such as reviewing wireless communication systems for onboard announcements and improving or replacing the public address systems at major terminals and outlying stations.