Taylor KnightApr 11, 2018, 11:57 amApr 11, 2018, 1:48 pm

NJ Transit to temporarily lease 10 train cars to ease overcrowding

Rider overcapacity has been caused by trains operating without cars that have to undergo maintenance

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NEWARK — New Jersey Transit has finalized a deal to lease 10 rail cars from Maryland for an eight-week period. The goal of this is to alleviate overcrowding on all 12 NJ Transit rail lines. Overcrowding is something many riders say is a major problem.

“It's consistent. Something you kind of get used to … We've been dealing with this ever since I’ve been taking the car to New York, which is, like, the past four or five years,” Quadeer Porter of Newark says.

“You have to stand, yeah, definitely. And it's, like, backpacks and all these things you're bumping into,” says David Carter of Livingston.

The addition of the 10 cars was one of Gov. Phil Murphy's short-term proposed fixes to address the issue of overcrowding on trains. Overcrowding is often caused by trains operating one or two cars short due to maintenance issues.

The new train cars won't be deployed individually. Instead, they will be coupled together as one train to be used as needs arise on any line throughout the system. The new cars should be arriving in the next few weeks.

Riders say they are excited to see if the cars help make their commutes less stressful.

“Adding 10 cars would definitely be a benefit,” says Jermaine Pearson of Newark.

NJ Transit also recently approved paying a firm $2 million to review and upgrade its maintenance operations. Porter says he hopes more funds will be approved in the future to keep riders on time and safe.

“Hopefully, our representatives will listen to us and kind of invest more not only in getting more trains but better train technology,” Porter says.

In exchange for the 10 rail cars, NJ Transit will be giving Maryland a locomotive that was heading into retirement in New Jersey.

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