Preparing for Potential NJ Transit Strike

Dear Colleagues,

As you may be aware, a potential NJ TRANSIT Rail Operations strike is expected to start after 12:01 AM on Sunday, March 13th, should no agreement be reached before then. A work stoppage would result in the complete suspension of all NJ TRANSIT rail service. NJ TRANSIT bus and light rail service will continue operating.

In the event of such a stoppage, NJ TRANSIT has developed a contingency plan that would help accommodate some of its cross-Hudson customer base. This contingency plan includes cross-honoring tickets and passes; adding capacity to existing New York commuter bus routes in close proximity to rail stations; contracting with private carriers to operate bus service from key regional park-ride locations during weekday peak periods; increasing capacity on its three light rail systems; and maximizing use of the available capacity on PATH and ferry service.

While the work stoppage is not yet a certainty, we want to encourage members of the University community who may be affected to prepare accordingly. It is expected that employees who commute via NJ TRANSIT trains make every reasonable effort to get to work. At this time, we recommend the following to those who may be impacted by the strike, and to their supervisors:

• Those of you who rely on NJ TRANSIT Rail for your commute should identify yourselves to your supervisors to begin the planning process.

• Managers or supervisors should initiate conversations with team members who rely on NJ TRANSIT Rail to explore options and make appropriate arrangements.

• We also encourage telecommuting arrangements, provided that they are consistent with University Policy and respective security and operational needs.

o CUIT offers several resources and guidance for managing these arrangements securely.
o Those who rely on local IT services should coordinate with your respective support teams.

• For those unable to telecommute, carpooling—either to alternative mass transit options or to the University—may be an effective option. Carpool matching and other carpooling resources are available on the Columbia Transportation website.

• Consistent with University Policy and operational needs, we encourage you to consider using vacation or personal days if a position does not lend itself to telecommuting and commuting to the city is not possible.

NOTE TO FACULTY: Students who rely on NJ TRANSIT Rail for their commute may have trouble getting to class should a work stoppage continue past the week of spring break (classes resuming Monday, March 21).

The Emergency Management Operations Team is monitoring the situation, and we will continue to share additional information and resources with you as necessary. As the situation changes, we will update the Columbia Preparedness website. You can also visit the NJ TRANSIT Critical Service Advisory page for additional information on the contingency plan and updates.

 

Sincerely,

David Greenberg
Executive Vice President, Columbia University Facilities and Operations
On Behalf of the Emergency Management Operations Team