Report from the Chair

This has been a busy month for the Coalition; Budget hearings were held in April by both chambers of the New Jersey Legislature, and we await the final legislative budget at the end of June. Regarding NJ Transit, we are
particularly concerned about the proposed 30-day expiration for single ride tickets, paper or digital, as we believe that the agency has overestimated the financial benefit to them and underestimated the aggravation to riders of both buses and trains, who will balk at buying as many tickets in advance as they do now, meaning longer lines at vending machines and slower bus boarding. When we saw the agenda for the May 8 NJ Transit Board meeting,
we were shocked to see a contract being offered to Academy Express—apparently the same company that defrauded NJ Transit for a decade or more, keeping double books to bill for “ghost” runs that never happened.
As this issue of the Railgram goes to press on the first weekend of May, we are looking forward to RUN’s online conference on Friday, May 17 and, the following day, a repeat of the “New Jersey Transit Connections
Tour” led by RUN board member and Lackawanna Coalition chairperson emeritus David Peter Alan. Starting at Newark Penn Station, we’ll travel on multiple rail lines and on light rail and end with a tour of New York
Penn Station led by member Joe Clift, possibly continuing to Grand Central Terminal. Joining us at the Coalition’s regular meeting on Monday, May 20 (a week early to avoid Memorial Day) is rail advocate Alan S. Drake,
who will be visiting from New Orleans, where the historic streetcars recently celebrated their 100th anniversary.
We welcome all to our meetings, which begin with an informative presentation, followed by our business meeting. We aim to end at 9 P.M. so that members and guests can catch their trains at Millburn Station before 9:30 P.M.

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