South Orange Commuters Will See Some Evening Improvements
Tuesday, March 12, 2013 • 4:14pm
SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - Local train commuters will get at least a little improvement in the evening rush train schedule, according to New Jersey Transit.
From the South Orange Village website:
On Tuesday NJT officials announced, as part of their March 24th system-wide schedule changes, including full restoration of their Hoboken train lines, significant changes to help mitigate concerns related to service changes from October 2012 that negatively impacted the commuter experience for South Orange riders.
Village officials, along with members of neighboring municipalities of West Orange and Livingston and state officials met with New Jersey Transit officials in January to discuss changes that officials and community members felt were needed to improve the commuter experience in the wake of last year's changes.
NJ Transit officials announced that they had focused on reducing travel time on the popular 6:19 MD train by eliminating Newark and Seacaucus stops, which reduces travel time by six minutes and re-arranges the stack of trains to reduce current delays caused by local trains. Additionally, by eliminating Seacaucus stops on other trains, travel times have been able to be reduced on other popular midtown direct lines as well.
From NJ Transit about South Orange's schedule:
To address overcrowding at points throughout the entire line, adjustments to the April schedule 2012 were made in October of 2012. These changes resulted in increased travel times and additional station stops for some returning South Orange commuters. Commuters, Village officials and area legislators asked NJ TRANSIT to examine the possibility of making additional schedule adjustments.
After conducting extensive customer counts and addressing service coordination issues to prevent schedule disruptions on other trains and lines, NJ TRANSIT was able to develop a proposed schedule that will be implemented on March 24th and addresses most of the concerns raised by commuters and officials.
Of the 7 peak period Midtown Direct trains returning to South Orange, the new March schedule will have 4 trains with the same or less travel time than existed last April. The travel time for the remaining 3 trains will only be from 1 to 3 minutes more that existed in April of 2012.
Village President Alex Torpey thanked everyone who has worked collaboratively on this issue, "We've had a lot of people work with us - we couldn't have made it happen alone. From our state legislators, to county officials, to my fellow mayors in West Orange and Livingston, trustees and officials here in town, and of course the thousands of commuters who were impacted by this change and voiced their frustration. This is a big step, and we look forward to working with residents through our NJ Transit Advisory Committee to continue to work with NJ Transit to make improvements to the commuter experience in South Orange, such as continuing to improve the schedules, crowding and overall commute, making improvements to the Main Station on Sloan Street, working with NJ Transit on Transit Oriented Development projects and continued support of our jitney service."