Rail Riders Score NJT Low

In NJ Transit’s customer survey, released July 13, rail customers gave their service a barely acceptable score of 5.2, lower than scores recorded by bus (5.5), light rail (6.5) and disabled access (7.5) users.  NJT Executive Director Jim Weinstein had predicted the survey would “show our warts,” and it certainly did.  Rail riders gave the lowest mark to fares, predictable after last year’s 25% increase (47% for casual off-peak riders), but also gave low marks on handling service disruptions, announcements, and on-time performance.  Mike Frassinelli, writing in the Star-Ledger, quoted 30-year commuter (from Hamilton) Ralph Fucci, “If my company were rated 5 out of 10, we’d be out of business.”  Fucci gave NJT mostly marks of 3 on his own survey, but did allow that NJT keeps the trains pretty clean, given the heavy use.  Despite the low marks generally, two-thirds of riders would recommend NJT to a friend or relative, and 63% use the service despite having access to a car.  Director Weinstein said he expects the scores to get better on future surveys; if not, “shame on us”.