Ridership down 90% but NJ Transit adds service for ‘essential’ commuters
On Monday, NJ Transit will make yet another adjustment to its bus schedules.
The agency, which has seen drops in ridership of at least 90%, will add extra trips to certain bus routes. The change will create more room for social distancing.
NJ Transit referred riders to its app and website to view updated schedules.
Riders continue to enter and exit buses using the rear doors and the seats around drivers are cordoned off.
Other service adjustments by NJ Transit remain in place.
Rail service is still operating on a modified Washington's Birthday schedule. The Hudson-Bergen Light Rail is on a weekend schedule. Newark Light Rail weekday service is operating on a Saturday schedule. The RiverLine is on a Sunday/holiday schedule.
Adjusted schedules for PATH, SEPTA and PATCO remain in place.
PATH reported a 95% drop in ridership and said the first and last cars of each train will be closed to protect workers and for social distancing purposes. Riders were encouraged to spread out on platforms and trains.
It was a tumultuous week for NJ Transit, which saw the deaths of two more workers because of COVID-19: Keith Cruz, a member of its rail infrastructure engineering department, and bus driver Philip Dover. A total of three workers have lost their lives to the virus.
Jerome Johnson, head of SMART Local 60, which represents NJ Transit train conductors, went public with his resignation from the agency's COVID-19 Task Force because he claims guidelines are not being followed and workers are not being protected from the virus.
In a letter dated April 6, Johnson said that NJ Transit gave "either inaccurate or misleading" information to the media about personal protective equipment provided to employees and the procedures to be followed after a positive COVID-19 diagnosis in a worker.
Johnson told NJ.com that cleaning protocols are not being followed and that NJ Transit's promise to disinfect its trains and buses every 24 hours is "false."
NJ Transit declined to comment on Johnson's allegations.
NJ Transit President & CEO Kevin Corbett went into self quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19. He was feeling well and working a regular schedule from home, according to a statement on Wednesday.