If you’ve ever said to someone trying to figure out how to get to the city, ‘Well, you could take the train…” then apparently, you’ve shown confidence in N.J. Transit. At least that’s what NJ Transit has deduced from its recent survey.

In a reveal of its later customer satisfaction survey conducted using Scorecard, nearly 75 percent of the customers surveyed said they would recommend NJ TRANSIT to a friend, relative or neighbor (up from 66 percent from the previous quarter).

“Three out of every four NJ TRANSIT customers recommending our service represents a strong show of confidence in New Jersey’s transit system,” said executive director Weinstein. “At NJ TRANSIT, we consider this to be ‘The Ultimate Question,’ one that will best guide our efforts to serve customers well.”

For the third quarter of FY12, customers rated their overall satisfaction with NJ TRANSIT service as “acceptable” or “satisfactory,” with a score of 5.8, an increase of 13.7 percent over last quarter’s score of 5.1. The agency’s FY 2012 goal is 6.0.

The third quarter surveys were conducted online at njtransit.com and in the field between February 21 and March 12, a period in which customers experienced two major Northeast Corridor rail disruptions on March 5 and 6. The survey asked bus, rail, light rail and Access Link customers to rate NJ TRANSIT on a scale of 0 to 10. Customers also considered 41 attributes of the system related to facilities, service, vehicles, communications and the overall experience using NJ TRANSIT. In addition, customers were asked to identify the most important aspects of NJ TRANSIT service among the items they rated. Click for more detailed survey results.

Clever Commute’s Conductor Josh Crandall says of the survey, in regards to train results, what alternative are NJ Transit comparing itself to?

“People know it’s challenging to drive themselves to/from NYC….and the private bus is subject some of those same issues. By-and-large, NJT trains are a good way to go. But it’s key to note that the Montclair-Boonton-line is (I believe) the smallest one and routes like the Northeast corridor may be 10 times our size…which can create other dynamics.”

Meanwhile, if you want to make your commute less arduous, check out InsideTrack from Clever Commute. Here’s the demo. One of the features is a way to see both the official track and the Clever Track — a track number for your train before it’s been announced.

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14 replies on “NJ Transit Survey Sez: Three Out of Four Would Recommend”

  1. biggest probelsm with the train, is the evening and weekend schedules. still better than Decamp.. but is your talking the transit busses to the tran. they never synch up and you can find your self missing a moring train, or waiting for an hour or more to get home once back in montclair.

  2. No doubt, this will begin a steady stream of complaints about NJT…the occasional track or electrical troubles, the fare increases, whatever…but c’mon. We live in a town with seven train stations, all of which provide service every few minutes directly into NYC, usually right on time, at a reasonable fare, and sufficiently uncrowded that no one ever dreams of sitting in the dreaded middle seat. Not bad, I say.

  3. Given the choice of walking of quitting your job, I would recommend NJTransit. But if you can hitch a ride on Bloomberg’s helicopter, take it.

  4. As a DeCamp rider, I wish I could take NJ Transit. So, count your blessings, such as they are.

  5. NJ Transit has a long way to go before it is a satisfactory transit system.

    Those of us who did not grow up in NJ and lived on Long Island, we have something to compare it too, the LIRR. That is a fair comparison for the 3rd largest transit system in the US. Having used both transit systems extensively to commute to NYC, I am in the position to say that the LIRR is a Cadillac and NJ Transit is a tricycle. The service is simply inferior given the cost and the level and quality of service. There are simply not enough trains, particularly during both rush hours. There is barely any weekend service and even that wasn’t availible until several years ago. There are no late trains leaving NYC between 12:40am and 6:50am and on the weekends it is even worse with no trains between 1:19am and 8:11am. Note to NJ transit, some people work late, work off hours and NYC doesn’t roll up it’s carpets at 2am like NJ does. One train midway through the night would be a step in the right direction. NJT is PUBLIC transportation, for the people of NJ and should start acting like they care about the people who fund it.

  6. NJ Transit has a limited number of arrival and departure slots at NY Penn station, and it’s not likely to get any more. But there are some things that can make the flow of people a little faster. Better, wider, and faster platform escalators would be a good start.

    Proposals to build new tunnels in 1988, 1996, and 2009 went nowhere. Short of having new tunnels and new longer and wider platforms, that’s the station we have.

    Service to Hoboken could be a lot faster, access to the ferries is pretty easy, and that’s a great way to travel to lower Manhattan.

    There are a few things NJ Transit, the Port Authority, etc could do to make things a lot better.

    –Open a second buses-only lane in the Lincoln Tunnel btw 7 and 7.30. Make buses priority traffic over cars for 30 minutes, drop some passengers off on 8th/50th, 34th/7th, etc
    –Open NJ Transit DeCamp bus drop off points on the east side, maybe 49th/ Park, 42nd/Park, and 34th/Park
    –Open a buses only lane on the GW Bridge, and travel down the east side (there are 24 lanes already)

  7. I don’t know what is funnier:

    open a 2nd bus only lane or that trains run every few minutes into NYC from Montclair.

  8. Paolo,

    If NJT had not closed the Boonton Line east of Walnut, you would have your faster Hoboken service.

  9. Carl,

    I used to board at Walnut Street at 7:56pm and would step off the Boonton Express to Hoboken at 8:15am. Then I would take the PATH to Christopher Street and hoof it ten blocks to my office on Houston and would be at my desk right at 8:30. Total commute time was 34 minutes on average. Today, I board the 7:48 at Bloomfield and usually step off the train in NY Penn at 8:28 (I stress usually). I take the MTA down to Houston and am lucky if I’m in my office at 8:45am. My total commute time has nearly doubled. And the price has nearly tripled.

    There are many reasons the trains are slow, none more than the lack of slots available to get through the tunnel. It doesn’t help that GR, Bloomfield and Watsessing have low level platforms which limits the number of doors that can be used to enter/exit the rail cars. Additionally, it doesn’t help that so many of the low level doors don’t work.

    I saved a promotional brochure from the start of the Montclair Connection that claimed it would provide a 25-minute, one-seat ride into Manhattan from Montclair. Funny, even skipping Broad Street, the time schedule from Bay Street calls it 39 minutes and it has never taken me less than 45 minutes.

    On another note, the ride through the Meadowlands was much more beautiful and peaceful on the old Boonton line.

    Disclosure. I’ve been commuting by rail into the city since 1993.


  10. About 60% of traffic into the Lincoln Tunnels in the morning is single occupant traffic. For each 3-4 cars / people excluded during a half hour, you could bring a bus with 57 people plus a driver into the tunnel, and drop people at various pre-defined points other than the already jammed Port Authority Bus Terminal.

    Knocking ten-15 minutes off the commute for the 54 sounds like a decent trade. Of course, it won’t happen, as the Port Authority needs those $12 daily tolls.

  11. Stu,

    The Montclair Connection – as sold – was nothing short of a fraud. NJT tried to sell it for decades, but couldn’t.

    The only way they could finally sell it was by defrauding the Feds (by lying to them about the condition of the East Boonton Line bridges and fudging the ridership numbers), flat-out lying about the travel times, and bribing Montclair (with a new station, electrification, a parking structure and “noise reduction”) to sell-out the local residents, GR, and especially Bloomfield & Kearny – which they did. They should call Pine Street “Thirty Pieces Station”.

    Even today, re-activating the East Boonton would probably make more sense then many other proposals – but NJT can’t propose it because they’d have to admit that they lied to the Feds about the bridges – one day, when everyone tainted by the Montclair Connection has left NJT, someone down in Newark will look at the track map and have a “Eureka” moment.

  12. There is no improvement in service. The “improvement” is within the margin of error for any survey. And this was a voluntary opt-in survey, which means it has a much higher margin of error.

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