Report from the Chair, Nov./Dec. 2021

At the October NJ Transit board meeting, I commented on the difficulty of finding information on agenda items in order to make meaningful comments. In previous administrations, the final written agenda included a lot more detail on action items.

As I looked over the packed agenda, there were items on which I had questions. I called our former technical director, current member Joe Clift, to get some answers. He also had questions, so together we hit the website. We looked for details on such items as the 8-electric-bus purchase for the Camden pilot project, and realized that we had seen some of these before—NJ Transit’s Capital Plan would have details. We found the documents: many pages, with no index or page numbers, but background material on action items to help us evaluate the projects.

Continue Reading Report from the Chair, Nov./Dec. 2021

Report from the Chair: Sept./Oct. 2021

On August 23rd we once again met in person at Millburn Town Hall, where we had an informative presentation from Josh Crandall of Clever Commute. Josh, who had given us a presentation a few years ago, reminded us of the project’s start when a group of 6 friend started sharing updates in 2006, just helping each other get to and from work with less stress. Since that time, Josh used his IT skills to transform the project into a full-fledged “app”, with a free and premium version. It had taken off successfully through February 2020—and then SARS-CoV-2 arrived, bringing a drop in rail ridership of 90%. Lots of Clever Commuters allowed their subscriptions to expire, not knowing what the future might hold.

Continue Reading Report from the Chair: Sept./Oct. 2021

Which Train Is This?

For some time, Coalition Secretary Daniel Chazin has been reporting on confused passengers on the 12:45 Pascack Valley train to Spring Valley.  Because a 12:49 Bergen line train to Middletown is scheduled on Track H at 12:49, only 4 minutes later, the automatic announcement that a “train is expected in 8 minutes” can cause inexperienced passengers, or those rushing to board one of the trains, to mistake the Pascack Valley train, arriving first, for the Middletown train right behind it.

Continue Reading Which Train Is This?

Report from the Chair—July/Aug. 2021

Our June meeting was unique—a throwback to prepandemic times, as we met in person for the first time since our hybrid meting in December 2020, itself an anomaly in our string of phone meetings since March of that year. Millburn was gracious enough to allow us to have that December meeting to honor Chairperson Emeritus David Peter Alan as he retired and I took over the chair; we had not been together as a group since then until last month’s meeting, held at the Panera Bread café in Montclair, just a quick walk over the bridge from the Bay Street Station. Though it is not on our heritage Morris & Essex line, it was convenient, with good WiFi for our “Maestro members”—those from South Jersey or Philadelphia, or who for whatever reason preferred not to meet in person—night driving, vaccination status, we did not ask. We hope to do even better with hybrid meetings moving forward—perhaps a few cell phones in the room, so that those at a distance can hear and be heard better. It is a work in progress, and we enjoyed being together in person while retaining the freedom to call in as desired. Watch for upcoming meeting announcements, and join us on Facebook and Twitter, for updates.

Continue Reading Report from the Chair—July/Aug. 2021