Do They Know What’s Going On? Inside NJ Transit’s ‘War Room’
Last year Gov. Phil Murphy pushed NJ Transit to improve communication efforts in order to keep commuters better informed of delays, problems and cancellations.
Murphy urged NJ Transit to adopt a “war room” mentality and communications teams were dispatched to work full time inside of NJ Transit’s Emergency Operations Center, not only to share information when there’s a major emergency or snafu, but also when there are more localized problems.
On Tuesday, Murphy toured the EOC along with NJ Transit Executive Director Kevin Corbett, NJ Transit Police Chief Chris Trucillo and journalists.
Murphy said efforts have been expanded to provide more updated information through social media, the NJ Transit app, and on electronic message boards at rail and bus stations across the state.
“The Emergency Operations Center is a crucial link in restoring NJ Transit to the level of safety and reliability that commuters deserve and expect," Murphy said.
Inside the EOC, a giant screen beamed video from two dozen different locations, including entranceways to bridges and tunnels, major highways, rail and bus stations and other locations like New York Penn Station and the Port Authority Bus Terminal. This helps officials instantly see a problem and understand the most efficient way to deal with it.
“There’s enormous value to having everything in one room: you see that in storm management, and you see it in logistical management of NJ Transit bus and rail, by the way," Murphy said.
He said this approach is providing more “real time, un-siloed 360-degree sense of exactly what’s going on. The communication pod is a particular example of the war room mentality that we didn’t have before," he said.
And improving communication remains a top priority.
“As opposed to making you find us, we increasingly are finding you," he said. “Like everything else, we’re not all the way there yet but progress is being made.”
Murphy's proposed budget includes an additional $100 million in funding.