NJ Transit Crew Shortages

Discussion in 'Commuter Rail and Rail Transit Discussion' started by Andrew, Aug 17, 2018.

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  1. Aug 17, 2018 #1

    Andrew

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    NJ Transit has been facing numerous crew shortages recently.

    What is the best way for NJ Transit to deal with this issue?
     
  2. Aug 17, 2018 #2

    cpotisch

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    Hire more people.
     
  3. Aug 17, 2018 #3

    MikefromCrete

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    Eliminate the New Jersey residency requirement? (Honest to goodness, folks, this requirement really threw me for a loop. I mean I've heard of cities requiring employees to live within the city limits, but a transit agency requiring its employees to live in-sate? Crazy.)
     
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  4. Aug 17, 2018 #4

    Thirdrail7

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    This can't possibly be a serious question so I'm assuming you're not looking for a serious answer. Therefore, the answer is obvious. Shut down New Jersey Transit. Then, you won't need crews. ..which means you won't have a crew shortage.

    You're welcome.

    PS: Assuming you're actually serious, you'd be interested to know the crew shortage is quite overblown.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 17, 2018
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  5. Aug 17, 2018 #5

    Acela150

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  6. Aug 19, 2018 #6

    me_little_me

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    Amtrak management's suggestion? [​IMG]
     
  7. Aug 20, 2018 #7

    Woodcut60

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    @MikefromCrete: That is indeed a very strange requirement for a transportation agency.
     
  8. Aug 22, 2018 #8

    PVD

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    If your compensation and conditions are not as good as the surrounding states you will constantly lose your best candidates and often hired workers. If the best NJ candidates go to NY and PA, who is coming to NJ from there if the residency requirement was gone? The candidates who didn't get hired in those places.
     
  9. Aug 31, 2018 #9

    Mystic River Dragon

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    They are at it again today at NJ Transit.

    In their gracious attempt to provide more service (for those unfamiliar with NJT, this is sarcasm, by the way), they have announced they will run extra trains in the middle of the day today for people who want to leave work early for the holiday weekend. Very kind of them. However:

    The obvious question, since they keep cancelling trains every day (because of PTC or engineers with a day off--take your pick--I think they just put those two excuses in a hat and pick one), is where will they get extra trains for today?

    And the obvious answer is that they will get "extra" trains by cancelling other trains! (They cancelled a popular morning commuter train out of New York, and they already have one listed this afternoon coming out of there as cancelled, and I'm sure there will be more.)

    On a serious note, the trains I get at Princeton Junction to go home and that start from New York are usually packed. Lately, though, I'm seeing fewer and fewer people on them. Perhaps many of them are on summer vacation. Or perhaps they have just had enough and are getting to work some other way or maybe working from home. So NJT is not doing itself any favors with the unpredictability each day.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 31, 2018
  10. Aug 31, 2018 #10

    jis

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    I think they will continue to fail to get enough staff until they start meeting the salary and benefit levels of the other agencies in the same business in the region. Heck when people are willing to ditch you and move all the way to even Florida in significant numbers, you've got a serious problem, and it has a lot to do with management.
     
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  11. Aug 31, 2018 #11

    Mystic River Dragon

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    Just checked the updates.

    For today's commute, the planned and announced changes were to add five trains and cancel three.

    They have now cancelled an additional three.

    So the "extra" getaway service is essentially one train less than there would have normally been. [​IMG]
     
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  12. Aug 31, 2018 #12

    Bob Dylan

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    AKA "Jersey Math"!
     
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  13. Sep 3, 2018 #13

    railiner

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    So I assume the NJT residency requirement includes the crews that extend into New York State on the Spring Valley and Port Jervis lines, and operate under contract on behalf of Metro North?

    I would also assume that Metro North and its 'West-of Hudson' rider's would not be too pleased with the cancellation of some of those trains.

    Perhaps Metro North should supply some of those crews from their end and qualify on NJT's route into Hoboken? I don't know how MN's supply of crews is, but I would bet some of them might jump at the chance to staff those trains....perhaps some even already live in that area, and 'commute' to staff Hudson or Harlem line trains...

    That would be one way of relieving NJT's shortage, and reassign their crews to other lines...
     
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  14. Sep 3, 2018 #14

    jis

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    Unions would not permit anything of that sort I am sure.
     
  15. Sep 3, 2018 #15

    railiner

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    Maybe. The way it is now, probably right. But Metro North would have the right to run at least their portion of the route, even if it meant no longer running thru service (I know that would kill the business, and not happen).

    They could change crews at state line stations. Or more conveniently, have the union's reach a reciprocal agreement to let the crews run thru, on a train mile pro rated basis...
     
  16. Sep 3, 2018 #16

    jis

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    Keep on dreaming
     
  17. Sep 20, 2018 #17

    blueman271

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  18. Sep 20, 2018 #18

    Mystic River Dragon

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    The Dinky crowd is going to be absolutely furious, especially if this goes into bad weather months, and I won't blame them if they are. It's not just students who take this--a lot of the Dinky riders are professionals near retirement age who already take one or two trains before they even get to the Dinky. They have a long and unpleasant commute, they look exhausted already by the time they get to Princeton Junction, and this will just make it worse. [​IMG] (And no, they should not just retire--these are people who love their work and are good at their jobs.)

    What will happen to the conductors and engineers on the Dinky during that period? (From what I've heard, it's one of the most coveted routes to work in the NJT system--no NYC hassles and a nice short local trip back and forth all day with pleasant passengers.)
     
  19. Sep 20, 2018 #19

    MARC Rider

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  20. Sep 20, 2018 #20

    Mystic River Dragon

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    Well, that's one of the excuses they've been using, along with crew shortages and equipment availability--I think they just pick one out of a hat each day as they stand around the coffee pot chuckling.

    I really don't understand the Dinky suspension--that is the only train that uses those tracks, so even if they don't do PTC til later than the "deadline," it isn't going to affect Amtrak or anyone else. I would think they would be first in line for an approved extension.

    I noticed that the announcement was not under "Alerts" but rather under "Customer notices" (which I doubt most people would think to read regularly--I certainly don't), plus an extra click on the announcement itself, plus "Service Adjustments" rather than "Cancellations" in the title.

    In other words, trying to bury it as far away as possible from the reading commuter.
     
  21. Sep 20, 2018 #21

    jis

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    You cannot get an extension approved without first installing all the hardware along the track! The purpose of the extension is only to give more time for testing and certification, not for installing hardware.
     
  22. Sep 20, 2018 #22

    Mystic River Dragon

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    Ah, okay--thanks, jis.

    I will be the first to admit I am very confused about the steps and the order and everything else connected with PTC.

    If NJT has to put PTC in place on the Dinky tracks, they will leave it til last and it will not get done for months. And, of course, this may be another attempt to kill it off--the Dinky has had to fight for its existence before.

    Is there a possibility that the law could be changed and the Dinky and other trains in similar situations could get an exemption? After all, it is the only train using the tracks, it moves very slowly (I've been on redcap carts that move about 10 times as fast), it constantly blows its horn to warn people it's coming, and I just can't see it being a danger to anyone, even without PTC.
     
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  23. Sep 24, 2018 #23

    cpotisch

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    Fun fact: A few weeks ago my dad and were taking NJT to my Aunt/Uncle's place, and our train was cancelled because apparently they didn't have an engineer. We ended up having to wait an hour for the next train in the lovely lovely NJ Transit Penn Station waiting room. [​IMG]
     
  24. Sep 24, 2018 #24

    Mystic River Dragon

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    See why I am going all the way up to Albany and all the way back down to Alexandria just to avoid NJT out of Penn Station on a Saturday (and possibly ending up in Trenton in the middle of the night)? [​IMG] (Plus I promised myself a long trip for fall around the Gathering, so there's that, too! [​IMG])

    Here is the latest scoop I have (from reliable sources, as far as I can tell, but I will not say who so they don't get in trouble):

    The Dinky closure has nothing to do with PTC, and is not another attempt (as I thought) to kill off the Dinky. What these people told me is that NJT is so desperate for engineers (as you and your dad saw firsthand, cpotisch) that they are closing down the Dinky til mid-January just so they can grab the few engineers from the Dinky to work on their commuter routes into New York City.

    They also, as far as I know, will have to re-bid to get the Dinky job again, which is a shame for the nice guys running it right now [​IMG]. I can understand, though, because it is the route everyone wants.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 24, 2018
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  25. Sep 24, 2018 #25

    jis

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    That is partly true of the ACRL closure too. Merely for doing PTC they did not have to shut the line down. That is just more of a smokescreen to work around staffing problems.
     

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