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N.J. Transit to Make New Ticket Technology System-Wide

New Jersey Transit, the nation’s largest statewide mass-transit network, will expand its new ticket vending-machine technology that allows it to dispense change in the form of paper bills instead of dollar coins.

The service is available beginning today at Newark Penn Station, after successful testing over the past year at New York Penn Station and the Port Authority Bus Terminal and on the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail system. It should be system-wide by the end of 2013, Executive Director James Weinstein said.

“By equipping our ticket vending machines with this new technology, we will further improve the ticket purchasing experience for our customers while also reducing cash handling costs for NJ Transit,” Weinstein said in a statement.

Once fully implemented, the technology is expected to save $1.2 million annually, according to the statement.

Hurricane Sandy brought New Jersey Transit service to a standstill. The Oct. 29 storm flooded rail yards in Kearny and Hoboken, damaged 62 of the agency’s 203 locomotives and left 261 of its 1,162 cars in need of repair. It also washed out some of the system’s 500 miles (805 kilometers) of rail tracks, brought down overhead wires and flooded control panels.

The agency is still working to repair damage caused by saltwater that breached the Mason power substation in Hoboken, spokesman John Durso said. Bus and light-rail service has returned to pre-Sandy levels and the agency hopes to restore full rail service by March, he said today.

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