NJ Transit issues guidelines to protect customers, employees during travel as N.J. reopens

This story originally appeared on NBC10.

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NJ Transit released guidelines Tuesday detailing the critical steps being taken to protect its customers and employees during the reopening of New Jersey and the region, in anticipation of more riders returning to the transit system.

These guidelines abide by “The Road Back,” New Jersey’s roadmap for restoring economic health through public health.

The transportation agency is reinforcing a “shared responsibility” approach that relies on both customers and employers doing their part in making sure health safety measures are reinforced.

The plan focuses on six areas: service, cleanliness, distancing, communication, protective equipment and public safety, and screening and testing.

  • Service: NJ TRANSIT will continue to monitor ridership, aligning service to manage capacity in accordance with Gov. Phil Murphy’s Executive Order 125, which outlines NJ Transit guidelines adopted during the pandemic and guided by the latest health recommendations and policies. The agency has been actively leveraging data, tools and regional information sources to monitor and identify projected trends in ridership and customer behavior. This analysis will continue throughout the recovery period to ensure the recovery plans remain flexible, responsive and data-driven.
  • Cleanliness: NJ Transit continues enhanced cleaning efforts to include disinfecting vehicles every 24 hours. The agency says enhanced cleaning and disinfecting in stations will continue and includes additional disinfecting of frequent customer touchpoints such as ticket vending machines, handrails and door handles. The agency also asks customers to minimize contact with surfaces and touchpoints and use touchless payment through the NJ TRANSIT Mobile App.
  • Distancing: NJ Transit will continue to monitor ridership daily and make adjustments to improve distancing as needed. Customers should make all efforts to create distance between other fellow riders. In addition, customers should avoid talking loudly and restrict phone conversations until after their trip, since these activities increase the expulsion range of droplets which may contain the virus.
  • Personal Protective Equipment and Public Safety: NJ Transit will maintain the requirement for all public-facing employees to wear face coverings at all times when performing their duties. Customers are required to do the same under Gov. Murphy’s Executive Order 125, which states that customers must wear face coverings while on public transit vehicles. NJ Transit has extended this requirement to include all NJ Transit owned public spaces (e.g. stairs, platforms and stations), regardless of physical distance.
  • Communication: NJ Transit is launching a “SAFE NJ” signage and messaging campaign, which will include easy-to-understand graphics and signs prominently displayed throughout its stations and vehicles. These signs will provide easy-to-understand instructions to encourage customers to partake in the ideal transit behaviors.
  • Testing: NJ Transit has made COVID-19 testing available to all employees at several locations throughout north, central and south Jersey. Customers who are feeling ill are asked to not ride public transit.

“There has been no higher priority at NJ Transit than the health and safety of our customers and employees since the onset of the pandemic,” said NJ Transit President and CEO Kevin Corbett in a statement. “While we are committed to doing everything we can to ensure the cleanest and safest transit environment, we can’t do it alone. We are asking customers and employers to do their part as well. If we each commit to doing our part, we’ll avoid further spread of the virus and deliver the safest possible travel experience until all the restrictions are lifted.”

Copyright NBC New York

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