New Jersey Transit trustees approved a 2020 procurement by exception waiver authorization to buy materials and services from approved vendors at a cost not to exceed $28 million.
The board will be notified of new firms and new services whose aggregate expenditures exceed $250,000 within the fiscal year from July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2020.
At the agency’s board meeting on June 12, New Jersey Transit President and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Corbett gave an update on the ongoing work at New York City Penn Station. He said that Transit customer advocate Stewart Mader has ridden all trains that will be impacted, informing customers of their options and listening to feedback.
June is National Safety Month, Corbett said, and Transit is reminding its employees and customers to “avoid distractions like cell phones and headphones.”
On the subject of improving New Jersey Transit, Corbett said Transit is implementing recommendations from the North Highland assessment report. One recommendation was to simplify the executive organizational structure to reduce complexity, streamline decision-making, and establish best practices for corporate governance.
In employee news, Corbett honored Flora Castillo, a New Jersey Transit board member who is leaving the board after 20 years.
New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti told Castillo: “It is a sad day that you will not be sitting on the board with us. … I wish you great success in all that you do.”
“All good things must come to an end,” Castillo said. “In my 20 years, I have had the opportunity to work with many great executive directors. … I thank all of our customers in indulging us all over the years. We have had great times and bad times. I want our customers to know you are in great hands.”
Corbett also honored New Jersey Transit employee Daisy Johnson who began working for a predecessor agency to New Jersey Transit in 1969. She grew up in South Carolina, graduated from high school in 1969, and moved to New Jersey.
Sally Jane Gellert, communications director of advocacy organization Lackawanna Coalition, said the group passed a resolution asking to separate Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti from being the commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Transportation and the chairperson of New Jersey Transit. She specified that this is not personal to Gutierrez-Scaccetti.
“I hope instead of changing titles, there are actual changes in the structures,” Gellert said.
Gutierrez-Scaccetti said she is capable of doing both jobs. “We have to make the entire transportation system work,” she said. “The Governor increased the allocation to Transit by $25 million. … If our transportation does not work as a whole, we will struggle.”
“It’s not that any decision I make is swayed by highway or transit,” she said. “And I do not take it personally.”
In other news, Transit approved an authorization to enter into a contract with Motorola Solutions Inc. of Bordentown, to provide a modernized computer-aided dispatch system in the amount of $2,358,616.03 plus five percent contingencies.