NJ Transit employees getting free rides to 'see' and 'say' something

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NJT Electric Robert Kaplan
A NJ Transit locomotive pauses for a stop. Non-union NJ Transit employees are expected to receive free ride privileges as a way to help thwart terrorist attacks in the commuter network.
Robert Kaplan
NJ Transit is giving its employees free rides in hopes if they "see something" they will "say something" about suspicious activities in the wake of terrorist attacks in France and elsewhere.

Non-union employees lost free ride rights in 2013 as a cost saving measure.

“Establishing the procedure of permitting employees to use their identification cards to travel allows NJ Transit to have a broader and robust network of security-aware employees in place throughout the system,” NJ Transit spokeswoman, Jennifer Nelson, tells the Newark Star-Ledger. “The measure is temporary, but will be in place for the foreseeable future.”

By using employees, the transit agency will help strengthen security efforts, “Asking those who know and understand the system best — our employees — to serve as another layer of eyes and ears in detecting something out of the ordinary,” Nelson says.

Commuter groups say that they could benefit from the decision. Michael Phelan, the co-founder of the New Jersey Commuter Action Network, says that in his experience, having a large number of office/support staff riding is always a net benefit to service and safety.

Phelan says that other commuter railroads have similar programs and that he has seen first-hand that amenities like air conditioning and toilets were fixed faster.
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