Comprising a 10-year Strategic Plan and a complimentary five-year Capital Plan, the documents outline NJT’s strategy for developing their network over the coming decade.

The Strategic Plan outlines NJT’s targets to improve services over the coming decades, with notable aims including:  

  1. achieving 95% on-time performance for all rail services, and 98% for light rail
  2. modernising fare and payment systems, including contactless payment at all light rail platforms
  3. increasing and expanding lines to underserved areas, including extensions to the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail (HBLR) network, and
  4. to continue refurbishing infrastructure to withstand increasingly common extreme weather events such as 2012’s hurricane Sandy

In addition, the Capital Plan, which will be revised and reissued on a five-year basis, projects the potential costs of investment in the network, including all prospective major projects and programmes if unconstrained by cash-flow limitations.

The capital plan identifies key areas where rail infrastructure needs improvement, with upgrades to poorly configured interlockings being prioritised to allow unimpeded movement for trains and greater service flexibility. In addition, the plan recommends that retaining walls, bridges, signalling and other significant infrastructure should be upgraded to increase capacity and reliability.

The estimated costs of NJ Transit’s extensive rail infrastructure modernisation is estimated at roughly $US 10.2bn, with $US 2.25bn being invested over the next five years, with a further $US 4.47bn between 2026 and 2030. This will be spent on a raft of improvements and repairs to existing rail infrastructure, including several new bridges, modernisation of stations, expansions to yards, tracks and tunnels, and improvements to power distribution and signalling.

During this period, NJ Transit also plans to overhaul or replace its rail fleet, including the introduction of 113 next-generation double-deck coaches, accounting for a further $US 3.6bn, with $US 2bn projected to be spent in the next five years, and a further $US 1.5bn spent between 2026 and 2030.

In addition, NJ Transit hopes to modernise its light rail infrastructure and assets, including overhauling the River Line fleet, increasing capacity and modernising stations on the Newark Light Rail network, and extending the Hudsen-Bergen Light Rail. The estimated costs of future light rail investment are around $US 1.9bn, with roughly $US 322m expected to be spent in the next five years, and another $US 877m between 2026 and 2030.

NJ Transit admits that income would have to substantially increase to complete all the outlined projects and initiatives and will continuously revise its plans to meet requirements. However, the company is optimistic about the future.

“Our 10-Year Strategic Plan is an active document that we expect to refine as we progress toward 2030,” says Mr Kevin Corbett, president and CEO of NJT. “The Capital Plan, along with our Strategic Plan, provides the blueprint for that recovery and ultimate success. When fully implemented, it will restore NJ Transit’s position as one of our nation’s most reliable transit systems.”

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