To promote social distancing through the pandemic, NJ Transit, along with other commuter agencies, implemented a policy of running trains at 50% of passenger capacity.
According to reporting by nj.com, NJ Transit announced that it’s light rail vehicles, buses including private-carrier buses and Access Link vehicels, and trains can now run at full capacity, and began doing so at 8:00 p.m. yesterday (Wednesday) evening. However, all passengers and staff members are required to wear face masks. All of this was brought about by an executive order signed Monday by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy.
Gov. Murphy said during a cornavirus briefing in Trenton that “As we have undertaken our restart and recovery, and as more New Jerseyans begin getting back to their jobs, we are seeing increases in ridership which are beginning to approach 50% of the stated maximum capacity of these vehicles, and we want to ensure that people are able to get to their jobs and that the system continues operating as efficiently as possible.”
Murphy added that face coverings will be required at all NJ Transit at all outdoor stations where social distancing “is not practicable” along with private-carrier indoor stations and NJ Transit indoor stations.
Gov. Murphy also said “Do it for yourself and do it for your fellow riders, do it for the men and women who are making your trip possible. Make sure your mask covers both your mouth and nose – no chin guards by the way. And, if a transit employee asks you to mask up, they’re doing their jobs, please be respectful to them and your fellow passengers.”
Murphy added that he believes rush hour will fill vehicles to their maximum capacity, but this will not occur during non-rush hour times.
New Jersey Coronavirus Status
On Monday of this week, New Jersey reported 22 additional COVID-19 deaths and 231 additional positive cases. New Jersey has had 15,560 deaths – 1,947 considered probable and 13,613 confirmed in a lab since March 4, when the first case was announced.
New Jersey saw its number of daily coronavirus numbers drop significantly since peaking in April, and they’ve been pretty steady over the past few weeks as significant outbreaks occur in other parts of the U.S.
As in other parts of the country, the coronavirus has hammered employment opportunities, and over 1.3 million people in New Jersey have applied for unemployment insurance benefits.