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| D’Arcy Johnson Day

A union official says New Jersey Transit and rail worker unions are closer than they were on Monday to reaching an agreement that would head off a strike this weekend, but negotiations ended Tuesday without a deal in place.  The two sides will meet again on Thursday.

About 4,200 union workers have been without a contract for nearly five years.  They have authorized a strike for 12:01 a.m. Sunday if contract talks don’t pan out.  They are calling for increased wages and better health care.

If the workers go on strike, it could unleash chaos for more than 300,000 rail riders across the state, including 105,000 New York-bound commuters.  Only 40,000 – about 38 percent – can be handled by NJ Transit’s contingency plans.  Transportation officials have projected backups of 20 miles or more leading into the Lincoln and Holland tunnels if trains shut down.

NJ Transit plans on increasing bus service on routes that run near train stations, in addition to five temporary park-and-ride locations with large parking lots and specific routes.  Service will be first-come, first-served and will only be available during peak commuter periods.

  • PNC Bank Arts Center to Wall Street and Port Authority Bus Terminal – regular service via Academy Bus (2,400 parking spaces, $36 round-trip)
  • MetLife Stadium to the Port Authority Bus Terminal (5,600 spaces, $11)
  • NJ Transit’s Hamilton station to Newark Penn Station (3,380 spaces, $32.50)
  • MetroPark station to Harrison PATH station (3,700 spaces, $21.50)
  • Ramsey/Route 17 station to the Weehawken ferry terminal (880 spaces, $24.50)

The possibility of this first New Jersey Transit strike in three decades is set to cripple the commute between New York and New Jersey.  Travel information can be accessed at NJTRANSIT’s Twitter feed at @NJTRANSIT or listen to broadcast traffic reports.  Additionally, NJTRANSIT will provide the most current service information via the My Transit alert system, which delivers travel advisories for your specific trip to your smartphone.  Service information also is available by calling (973) 275-5555.

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