The March vote by the NJ Transit Board to reject the proposed contracts that would have given Academy Express, LLC, the right to operate several bus lines in Hudson County for the next 3 was historic, and it represented a radical departure from the past 42 years of board practice.
The decision to reject Academy as an operator and instead award the contracts to Coach, USA, marked the first time that the Board had voted against an agenda item of major significance in the agency’s history, dating back to 1979. The vote was unanimous, in keeping with Board custom.
Continue Reading NJT Board’s “No” Vote on the Proposed Contract with Academy Is a Huge Break from Tradition: COMMENTARY
In a way, NJ Transit will never be the same again. The agency’s last original employee, who was there even before it was founded in 1979, has retired. She was Joyce J. Zuczek, and she had become a favorite employee of a number of active Coalition members.
Joyce had 45 years’ service with “Transit” and, before it was founded, with the now-defunct Commuter Operating Agency in the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDoT). She was one of the original NJT employees, the list of whom reads like a roster of future industry leaders. One was Sen. Francis X. Herbert, who sponsored the Transportation Act of 1979, NJ Transit’s enabling legislation. In later years, Herbert was given the title “Father of NJ Transit”. Joyce later talked about typing Herbert’s original draft of the bill.
Continue Reading It’s the End of an Era at NJ Transit, as the Last Original Employee Retires
It’s always been problematic for those interested in how public agencies work to get access to internal documents. Laws such as the federal Freedom of Information Act and New Jersey’s Open Public Records Act are one way by which the public can find out what’s actually going on in often-opaque public agencies and authorities. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey seems to be more opaque than most; as a bistate agency, it can make the best (or worst?) of the laws of both states. Recently, a man arrested by Port Authority police at the PATH station in Hoboken tried to access Port Authority documents, first through the federal law, and then the New Jersey law. The Port Authority responded that some of the documents requested were exempt under the federal law, and also demanded nearly $4,000 for copying costs. He then tried under the state law, but a New Jersey appeals court ruled that the state Open Records Act doesn’t apply to the Port Authority—because it’s a bistate agency and thus can’t be subject to control of any one state. (Oct. 4; Associated Press via the Wall Street Journal and transportationnation.org)