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Rail News: Passenger Rail

NJ Transit forms task force to address, recommend emergency procedures

New Jersey Transit recently created a 22-member task force to review the agency’s responses to major incidents, including power outages, trespasser fatalities and a derailment that occurred NJ Transit last month.

Including United Transportation Union and Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers representatives, the task force has issued recommendations to improve the agency’s customer service during emergencies, such as stopping the first available train and sending it to an incident scene to rescue passengers, equipping trains and stations with bullhorns, establishing new crew-size standards, creating regional management teams to address an incident, equipping train crews with radios to provide immediate communication, and displaying emergency procedures on all trains.

The task force also presented long-term recommendations, including reviewing wireless communication systems for on-board announcements, improving or replacing public- address systems at major terminals and outlying stations, and expanding variable message sign capability at some stations during service disruptions or emergencies.

The task force conducted more than 100 passenger interviews and reviewed more than 100 emails prior to issuing recommendations.

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More News from 8/1/2003