Governor Also Announces FY2021 Budget Proposal Will Not Include Fare Hikes for Commuters
KEARNY – Governor Phil Murphy, Department of Transportation Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti, and NJ TRANSIT President and CEO Kevin Corbett today recognized NJ TRANSIT’s latest locomotive engineer training class for completing their classroom training. The Governor also announced that his Fiscal Year 2021 budget proposal will not include a fare hike for NJ TRANSIT, his third budget proposal in a row to not include an increase in ticket prices for commuters. Under the previous administration, NJ TRANSIT raised fares by 36 percent.
The class of seven trainees will be graduating in the upcoming weeks after they complete the final requirements and certifications necessary to become locomotive engineers with NJ TRANSIT.
“Today, we celebrate another class of future locomotive engineers who will improve safety, reliability, and services for the hundreds of thousands of New Jersey residents who ride NJ TRANSIT every day,” said Governor Murphy. “I am also proud to announce that I will not include a fare hike in my Fiscal Year 2021 budget proposal. We are on the path to the resurgence of NJ TRANSIT as a system that commuters can rely on and trust and I want to make sure that riders are not further burdened while we continue working to improve the system.”
“On behalf of the New Jersey Transit Board of Directors, we are pleased to see the continued growth in the number of locomotive engineers available to serve our customers,” said Transportation Commissioner and NJ Transit Board Chair Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti. “Our goal is to provide excellent service to our customers. The addition of these skilled technical professionals will help us achieve that goal.”
“All of these soon-to-be locomotive engineers are on the verge of completing a rigorous, 78-week-long training program,” said NJ TRANSIT President and CEO Kevin Corbett. “For our customers, that means fewer train cancellations as a result of engineer availability. Over the two-year period between 2019 and 2020, we will graduate seven classes of locomotive engineers – the same number of classes that graduated in the previous five years combined. And beginning this year, we are starting to see real net gains in our ranks of locomotive engineers, thanks to an unprecedented effort to recruit, train, and hire these essential members of our railroad crew.”
The completion of this class will help fulfill the agency’s continued commitment to hiring and training more locomotive engineers. This graduating class will bring the total number of new engineers that have joined NJ TRANSIT since late 2018 to 169. The next engineer training class is set to graduate in April, 2020.
The soon-to-be graduates celebrated today are near the end of the final stage of their training after beginning on May 30, 2018. NJ TRANSIT has increased the number of engineer training classes to a record-setting seven classes running concurrently. That brings the total number of engineer trainees enrolled in the program to 89. The newest class of locomotive engineer trainees started on October 19, 2019.