October 9, 2012

NJ Transit may cut free employee passes

As part of Gov. Chris Christie’s emphasis on accountability to New Jersey taxpayers, NJ Transit may change a long-standing, industry-wide practice allowing transit employees unlimited, free travel.  The agency proposed changing its 30-year blanket privilege allowing non-agreement employees unlimited, free travel on rail, light rail and bus services.

Under the proposal, effective Jan. 1, 2013, the agency will no longer allow non-agreement employees and non-agreement retirees to use the agency’s transit system free-of-charge for non-business purposes.

The NJ Transit board of directors will consider this action in October. Upon approval, the measure is subject to Gov. Christie’s veto period.

“Moving forward, NJ Transit must continue to sufficiently consider the interests of our fare-paying customers and taxpayers. The organization’s travel policy must be consistent as to how our customers and taxpayers commute and travel — they pay for their expenses,” said NJ Transit Executive Director James Weinstein.

The latest proposal is one of many initiatives undertaken by the agency, transforming it into a more accountable, efficient and transparent organization. In 2011, NJ Transit reformed the agency’s vacation and sick leave policy practice for non-agreement employees. This reform included the elimination of sick day payouts for new employees, and a requirement that sick time be used on a first-earned, first-used basis.

The results speak for themselves: improved on-time performance, the second-lowest budget growth in the past 15 years, and a third-straight budget without a fare increase.

Similar reforms already have eliminated free travel privileges for employees at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the NJ Turnpike Authority and the Delaware River Port Authority.

Through the enactment of these reforms, NJ Transit continues to demand greater efficiencies, foster a more open and transparent agency and keep faith with customers and New Jersey taxpayers alike.

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  • JayJay[ October 16th, 2012 @ 4:13pm ]

    The govenor is making a political statement and is turning the situation into a financial statement. NJT is not broke, but it is certainly broken by the way people are being treated. The pass is part of compensation. Christie wants the working public to think that "all state employees are bad" - and naturally they will think that if a governing body and official say it's so. When this govenor was running - he denounced "Cronyism" Guess what? He has about 30 polotical appointments at NJT - all earning a six figure salary. I am not saying that some of them are not worth their salt, but plenty don't have the experience or credentials to be in the job. If you want to save money - do away with political appointments. That will save you over 4 million per year.

  • Sandy Lux[ February 10th, 2013 @ 9:37am ]

    NJT should look at the money the spend to send Board Memberst to APTA mtgs and conferences along with Executive Management. No other transit agencey has done this to their employee's in the country!

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