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September 21, 2005

In support of National Emergency Preparedness Month, NJ TRANSIT and the American Red Cross will team up on Thursday, September 22 to increase commuters’ level of emergency preparedness. The system-wide event—which will include outreach efforts at more than three dozen NJ TRANSIT rail stations, bus terminals and light rail stops—will also provide an opportunity for the American Red Cross to collect donations for their Disaster Relief Fund.

“Whether it’s a natural disaster or an act of terrorism, we can never be too prepared,” said NJ TRANSIT Police Chief Joseph C. Bober. “This partnership between the American Red Cross and NJ TRANSIT—the first of its kind in the nation—will help us to build awareness among our customers and the traveling public.”

“We have all seen the importance of being prepared for an emergency,” said Art Lape, emergency services director of the Southeast Morris Chapter of the American Red Cross. “Through this partnership with NJ TRANSIT, we hope to make New Jersey one of the best-prepared states in the nation.”

Representatives will distribute information on a number of emergency preparedness topics, including terrorism preparedness, how to prepare an emergency kit and alternate travel options in the event of a transportation service disruption.

In addition, as part of the American Red Cross’ ongoing effort to raise funds to assist the victims of Hurricane Katrina and other natural disasters, representatives will accept donations at Newark Penn Station, Hoboken Terminal and Burlington Towne Center. All proceeds will go to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.

“This is a unique opportunity for the American Red Cross,” said Vernon F. Reed, Jr., Chief Executive Officer of the Bergen-Hudson Chapter. “We will have the opportunity to collect critically needed donations for our Disaster Relief Fund, which will go directly to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina and other natural disasters in the United States.”

Customers can also make donations to the American Red Cross through their secure website (, by calling 1-800-HELP-NOW or by sending a check to American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, PO Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 20013.

NJ TRANSIT police officers will participate in the effort at Newark Penn Station, the state’s largest transportation hub, by distributing emergency preparedness guides and security alert cards. The cards provide NJ TRANSIT’s toll-free number for reporting unattended packages or suspicious activity—1-888-TIPS-NJT—as well as other transit security tips.

“When it comes to system security, there is no substitute for the vigilance of our customers and employees,” Chief Bober said. “Collectively, they add hundreds of thousands of additional ‘eyes and ears’ on the system each day.”

Since 2001, NJ TRANSIT has significantly enhanced its emergency preparedness capabilities, including:

  • Improving communication between control centers and NJ TRANSIT crews
  • Creating regional “Go Teams” consisting of specially trained NJ TRANSIT managers who will be immediate deployed to incidents
  • Creating “Emergency Response Teams” to report to major terminals to assist customers during incidents
  • Training nearly 50 Emergency Response Team members in Community Emergency Response Training (CERT), in conjunction with NJTPD and New Jersey State Police, to assist emergency responders at an incident scene
  • Improving visibility of emergency procedures on all vehicles, with accompanying panel cards available at major terminals and stations
  • Equipping trains and stations with bullhorns
  • Improving broadcast emergency alerts to keep the public informed
  • Implementing the “My Transit Alert” system, which provides NJ TRANSIT service information to customers’ pagers, cell phones and PDAs
  • Created the Trans-Hudson Emergency Task Force in the wake of the 2003 blackout to improve interagency coordination and response to regional incidents
  • Improving public address systems throughout the system
  • Conducting full-scale field emergency drills on an annual basis
  • Conducting smaller table-top exercises on a quarterly basis

In addition, NJ TRANSIT has enhanced system security in the following ways:

  • Increased the size of the NJ TRANSIT Police Department by more than 70 percent
  • Tripled the number of K9 explosive detection teams
  • Made investments in state-of-the-art electronic countermeasures
  • Implemented random baggage inspections
  • Increased the number of uniformed and plainclothes officers on patrol
  • Implemented a toll-free number for reporting unattended packages or suspicious activity (1-888-TIPS-NJT)
  • Activated an intelligence-based crime analysis center
  • Installed a new police central communications center
  • Deployed radiological pagers throughout the system
  • Created security zones around major stations and terminals, including barriers and checkpoints

NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 779,200 daily trips on 240 bus routes, three light rail lines and 11 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 162 rail stations, 52 light rail stations and more than 17,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.

American Red Cross representatives will be at the following NJ TRANSIT stations:

Allwood Road (Clifton) – 3-7 p.m.

Asbury Park – 5-8 p.m.

Berkeley Heights – 5-8 p.m.
Beverly/Edgewater Park – 4-7 p.m.

Bridgewater – 5-8 p.m.

Bordentown – 4-7 p.m.

Burlington South – 4-7 p.m.

Burlington Towne Center – 4-7 p.m.*

Cinnaminson – 4-7 p.m.

Delanco – 4-7 p.m.

Exchange Place HBLR – 4:30-8 p.m.

Florence – 4-7 p.m.

Gillette – 5-8 p.m.

Glen Rock – 4:30-8 p.m.

Hazlet – 5-8 p.m.

Hoboken Terminal – 4:30-8 p.m.*

Irvington Bus Terminal – 3-7 p.m.

Little Silver – 5-8 p.m.

Long Branch – 5-8 p.m.

Matawan – 5-8 p.m.

Middletown – 5-8 p.m.

Murray Hill – 5-8 p.m.

New Providence – 5-8 p.m.

Newark Penn Station – 3-7 p.m.*

Palmyra – 4-7 p.m.

Pavonia-Newport HBLR – 4:30-8 p.m.

Raritan – 5-8 p.m.

Red Bank – 5-8 p.m.

Ridgewood – 4:30-8 p.m.

Riverside – 4-7 p.m.

Riverton – 4-7 p.m.

Roebling – 4-7 p.m.

Rutherford – 4:30-8 p.m.

Somerville – 5-8 p.m.

Stirling – 5-8 p.m.

Summit – 5-8 p.m

* Donations accepted at bold locations