New Jersey Transit funding plan calls for 114 new hires

An NJ Transit train pulls into the station (Mel Evans/AP, file)

An NJ Transit train pulls into the station (Mel Evans/AP, file)

Gov. Phil Murphy is breaking down the $242 million increase he’s proposed in his budget plan for upgrading New Jersey Transit.

The governor’s proposal allocates $19 million to expand the workforce with 114 new employees, said NJ Transit Executive Director Kevin Corbett.

“Additional positions in rail and bus operations allow us to hire professional qualified staff to address the issues of overcrowding and on-time performance,” he said. “Other positions in human resources and training will give us the ability to accelerate the hiring process to expand training classes for critical positions including the engineers, conductors, and bus operators.”

The budget plan includes $4 million for other rail and bus needs to enhance scheduling and $120 million to replace non-recurring funding from the previous administration, Murphy said.

“We are focused squarely on improving the delivery of services and the customer experience while simultaneously restoring New Jersey Transit’s fiscal stability,” he said.

Acting Transportation Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti said Murphy’s budget recognizes the immediate needs New Jersey Transit is facing.

“It will provide the initial infusion to spark the resurgence of this once-platinum standard in the transit industry. But it is only the beginning,” she said. “It is the first of many corrective steps.”

Improving the state’s transit system is a priority, Murphy said, but he added that problems from years of neglect won’t be solved by one budget.

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