RARITAN, NJ – The commute to work for millions of New Jerseyeans who managed to not lose their jobs during the Phil Murphy shutdown will not have a “new normal” as things get “back to normal” aboard trains, busses, light rail vehicles and access link vehicles. The order comes as Murphy shut down indoor dining and has declared “flareups” of COVID-19. The move could soon be related to Governor Murphy’s order to send sick COVID-19 patients to their deaths in nursing homes statewide.
The science behind Murphy’s latest executive order doesn’t seem to exist…but you’ll be safe locked for an hour or more in booked to capacity trains, busses and light rail vehicles knowing that to protect your safety, the consumption of food and drinks will be strictly prohibited.
Murphy who always raves about “Economic wealth starts with economic health” is once again contradicting his own science to benefit the bottom line for NJ Transit.
Not only does this measure contradict every bit of science Phil Murphy claims he’s operating in guidance of, it also will create havoc on the Governor’s army of contact tracers. At this point, if travel is allowed in packed trains, you might as well just open everything up, because there’s no better example of a virus dispersal vehicle than mass transit. It’s why mass transit is one of the highest bio-terrorism targets in the world.
No this is one more example of the governor picking winners and losers during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you can sit in a packed train, you can sit in a half empty movie theater, you can sit in a 25% capacity restaurant and ya, you can even go to the damn gym already.
Governor Phil Murphy today signed Executive Order No. 165, which lifts 50 percent capacity limits on NJ TRANSIT and private-carrier buses, trains, light rail vehicles and Access Link vehicles, and now requires that NJ TRANSIT and private-carriers limit vehicles to the maximum seated capacity, effective at 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 15.
“As we continue on our road back, we are seeing increases in ridership which are quickly approaching 50 percent of the stated capacity of NJ TRANSIT and private-carrier vehicles,” said Governor Murphy.“To ensure New Jerseyans can get to and from their jobs and that the system continues operating efficiently, we are allowing our transit providers to resume operations at full seated capacity.”
The Governor’s Executive Order continues mitigation efforts that were previously implemented, including requiring workers and customers to wear face coverings while on all buses, trains, light rail vehicles, and Access Link vehicles. This Order extends face covering requirements for workers and customers to the indoor premises of trains, buses, stations, or facilities owned or operated by NJ TRANSIT or private-carriers, as well as the outdoor portion of stations where social distancing is not practicable. The only exceptions for these face-covering requirements are when wearing a face covering would inhibit that individual’s health or where the individual is under two years of age.
The Order also explicitly prohibits the consumption of food or beverages and smoking in all trains, buses, and vehicles that are operated by NJ TRANSIT, private carriers, and Employer Provided Transportation Services.
The Order also imposes certain mitigation efforts on employers that provide transportation services to workers or employees to get to, return from, or move within or among worksites that are not otherwise available to the general public.
For a copy of Executive Order No. 165, please click here.