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New Jersey Department of Transportation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT)
Seal of the New Jersey Department of Transportation.svg
Agency overview
JurisdictionNew Jersey
Headquarters1035 Parkway Avenue
Ewing, New Jersey
Agency executives
  • Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti, Commissioner of Transportation[1]
  • Joseph D. Bertoni, Deputy Commissioner
  • Gary Brune, Chief Financial Officer
Parent agencyState of New Jersey

The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT)[2] is the agency responsible for transportation issues and policy in New Jersey, such as maintaining and operating the State's highway and public road system, planning and developing transportation policy and assisting with rail, freight and intermodal transportation issues. It is headed by the Commissioner of Transportation. The present Commissioner is Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ How Freight Trains Connect the World
  • ✪ NJIT Nossa Universidade


This video was made possible by Skillshare. Learn for free for two months by being one of the first 500 to sign up at If you look at the list of the world’s twelve largest economies, there’s a clear split. Six are relatively small countries where one could never be more than a few hundred miles or kilometers from the ocean. The other six—The United States, China, India, Brazil, Canada, and Russia—are enormous countries with spots more than a thousand miles or sixteen-hundred kilometers from the ocean. It’s well known that ships are the main method of transport for freight globally thanks to their low cost. In fact, 90% of world trade goes by sea. While most of the world’s population lives relatively near the ocean, there are still plenty of populated areas far inland that too need a method of low-cost freight transport. For that, there’s freight trains. Unsurprisingly, those six physically largest of the twelve largest economies are, rearranged in order, the world’s six top users of freight rail transport. To understand the role of freight rail, you have to look at the numbers. In the US, it costs, on average, about 4 cents to move one ton of freight, the weight of a small car, one mile on a freight train. That’s about 2.5 cents per ton-kilometer. What that means is that, on average, you could move one ton of freight coast to coast, from New York to Los Angeles, on a train for about $100. It’s worth noting that freight rail prices in the US are among the lowest in the world. In most European countries, for example, they’re nearly double. In comparison to those four cents per mile, air freight transport in the US costs about 121 cents per ton-mile or 75 cents per ton-kilometer but air freight is not truly a competitor to the railways. Planes will tend to carry time-sensitive or valuable goods while trains will carry lower-value or less time-sensitive goods. The true competitor to trains are trucks which carry a ton a mile at a cost of around 20 cents or 13 cents per ton-kilometer. This is noticeably higher but trucks, of course, can go anywhere. Trains can only go where there are tracks. Now, the reason why trains are so cheap is because they are quite a bit more efficient than trucks. In 2017, Union Pacific railroad, as an example, moved freight a total of 471 billion ton-miles. That’s the total number of miles multiplied by the total number of tons moved. To do that, they used just over 1 billion gallons of diesel fuel meaning it took, on average, only one gallon of fuel to move one ton of freight 469 miles. That’s far more efficient than a truck. The reason behind this is simple—trains encounter less resistance. Their smooth steel wheels run over smooth steel tracks so there’s very little friction compared to rubber truck tires running over road. In addition, since the train’s just one long line, there’s much less wind resistance per ton than a truck. A single locomotive uses huge amounts of fuel but can have upwards of 6,000 horsepower and can therefore pull a huge number of cars. On average, in the US, freight trains are about 6,500 feet or 2,000 meters long. They can get far longer, though. In Canada, Canadian National regularly runs 14,000 feet or 4,300 meter long trains. It would take nearly an hour to walk from one end of this train to the other. Typically, it also only takes two people to run even these multi-mile long freight trains. Considering that most trucks take one person to transport one container and these trains can carry hundreds, it’s easy to see the advantage. In some cases, freight trains are even run by only one individual—the driver. Of course there are plenty of safety concerns with that, but railroads are increasingly doing so as it cuts down on cost. Overall, what this means is that freight trains are quite comparatively efficient both economically and environmentally to other means of land transport. Within the cab of a locomotive, there’s generally not much other than the train controls, a few seats, and a small lavatory. There are no beds or other accommodations because crews don’t stay onboard for all that long. Every driver and conductor in a company works a defined territory along the overall train route so for longer runs, such as BNSF’s route from Seattle to Chicago, for example, it takes 10 different crews to make the trip. The first takes the train from Seattle to Wenatchee, Washington, then switches with another crew that takes it to Spokane, Washington, and then this crew swap processes repeats itself in Whitefish, Havre, Glasgow, Minot, East Dilworth, Northtown, and North LaCrosse before the train arrives in Chicago. In most cases crews will typically live at one end of their territory, work the train to the other end, stay in a hotel overnight, then swap with an inbound crew to take command of a train headed back to where they live. Now, under US law, each crew is only allowed to work for up to twelve hours at a time before needing a rest period and so these territories where crew work are designed to be able to be completed in those twelve hours. For longer sections, though, like the 276 mile, 444 kilometer section from Glasgow to Minot, there’s increased risk of timing out in case of slow-down. If a train crew reaches twelve hours, they quite literally have to stop in their tracks and wait until another crew arrives. Typically the railroad will drive out a relief crew from the next stop, in this case, Minot, to take over. Now, there are two major types of cargo transported by rail—bulk and intermodal. Bulk cargo is things like grain, stone, sand, oil, and coal. Coal, along with most bulk cargo, is not a value-dense product—as in, it costs a little to get a lot. In the US, a ton of coal costs only $34, on average—so of course you need to put it on the lowest cost transport method possible which in many cases is trains. Trains both serve to bring coal from the mine to their domestic destinations, mostly power plants, and to coastal ports to be loaded on ships for international export. The other major type of freight, intermodal, involves the carrying of shipping containers to and from their destinations. Generally trains will carry these containers as only a step in their overall journey. For example, a container might be picked up from a factory in Shenzhen, China, brought by truck to the port of Shenzhen, loaded on a ship to Long Beach, California, moved onto a train to Omaha, Nebraska, before being loaded again on a truck for its final journey to Norfolk, Nebraska. Generally railroads will have their intermodal terminals, where containers are unloaded and loaded, spread out about 300-500 miles or 500-800 kilometers apart from each other so the greatest area can be reached within a day’s truck drive from one of their terminals. Given the lackluster nature of the US’s passenger railways, it may surprise some that the country’s freight railway system is considered among the world’s best. The country is just in that sweet spot of economically busy and spread out that supports the use of freight trains. It therefore serves as a good example to examine to explain how freight trains work worldwide. The US' network is quite extensive. As an example, Kansas, whose entire passenger rail network consists of this, has a freight rail network of this. What helps is that in most countries the government builds tracks primarily for passenger train usage and freight operators pay to use them. In the US, though, it’s the other way around—in most cases, the track is owned by freight operators and the government pays them to use it for passenger operations. Through many years of consolidation seven major freight railroads have emerged in North America each with their own territory—Union Pacific, BNSF, CSX, Norfolk Southern, Canadian National, Canadian Pacific, and Kansas City Southern. With the exception of Canadian National, none operates coast to coast so for longer journeys, a single operator could not get freight from start to finish. Now, take a look at this BNSF train. You’ll notice at the end it’s hauling a CSX car and a Union Pacific car. That’s because, since no one railroad covers the entire continent, different ones work together to get freight to its final destination. A container traveling from Oakland, California to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for example, would be first brought by truck to Lathrop, California where Union Pacific has a rail-yard. It would then be taken off the truck and loaded onto an east-bound train. After passing through the western United States and arriving in Chicago, the container would then be removed, hauled short-distance from the Union Pacific to the CSX terminal, and placed on a CSX train since Chicago is as far east as Union Pacific goes. That train would then take it to Kearny, New Jersey, near New York City, where it would then be loaded on another truck to take it to its final destination in Philadelphia. This is already complicated but it can get even more. Sometimes different railroads don’t partner or won’t allow for seamless transfers between certain origin-and-destination pairs. Chicago, for example, has dozens of different rail-yards used by different railroads so in order to to get a container through one might have to book a spot on one train to the city, then book a transfer by truck from one terminal to that of another railroad, then book separately the next train out of the city. This increases complexity enormously and it’s often difficult to find truck drivers willing to make the short cross-town trip especially given the current shortage of truck drivers in the US. Many of these complexities are handled by logistics companies hired by clients to manage the movement of their freight but these interchanges can still slow down shipping times significantly. There is this constant battle between the trucking and rail industry. Hired rail lobbyists in the US constantly work against the trucking industry by dissuading Congress from increasing weight and size limits of trucks. With a nearly global shortage of truck drivers, though, railroads are at an advantage right now and many are thriving. New railroads are constantly under construction worldwide especially in developing nations and the industry is growing. It’s not completely safe, though. The advent of driverless trucks will surely reduce cost and increase capacity in the trucking industry which could tilt favor over to the rubber tires. In addition, coal is one of the most commonly carried goods by freight trains and, as the world transitions towards renewable energy, there could be less demand for its transportation. Overall, though, at least until there’s a monumental shift in technology, freight trains will continue to be the proven method for moving freight long distances over-land. If you want to learn how to make videos just like this one, there are a few things you’ll have to learn. You’ll have to learn how to write nonfiction effectively. Skillshare has a class for that. You’ll have to learn how to record good audio. Skillshare has a class for that. You’ll have to learn how to edit audio. Skillshare has a class for that. You’ll have to learn how to animate. Skillshare has a class for that. In fact, if there’s something you want to learn, there’s a pretty decent chance that Skillshare has a class for that. You can take the classes on your computer, on your iOS or Android device, even offline with their app so you can learn whatever, wherever, and whenever. Best of all, you can start learning with Skillshare for free for two months by being one of the first 500 to sign up at



The agency that became NJDOT began as the New Jersey State Highway Department (NJSHD) circa 1920.[3] NJDOT was established in 1966 as the first State transportation agency in the United States. The Transportation Act of 1966 (Chapter 301, Public Laws, 1966) established the NJDOT on December 12, 1966.

NJDOT headquarters
NJDOT headquarters

In 1979, with the establishment of New Jersey Transit, NJDOT's rail division (which funded and supported State-sponsored passenger rail service) was folded into the new agency.

Until 2003, the NJDOT included the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), which was reorganized as the self-operating New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC).

Since the late 1970s, NJDOT has been phasing out or modifying many traffic circles in New Jersey.

NJDOT Commissioners

Divisions, programs and services

Regions of NJDOT
Regions of NJDOT

Public roads

NJDOT operates, develops and maintains the State's public road system, including Interstate, State and Federal highways, with a total of 2,316.69 miles of NJDOT-owned and operated roads (as of July 2015).[4] Most major highways including Interstate, U.S. and NJ State routes within New Jersey are under NJDOT jurisdiction, except toll routes including the New Jersey Turnpike, Garden State Parkway (under the New Jersey Turnpike Authority) and the Atlantic City Expressway as well as the interstate toll bridges and tunnels.

Freight planning

NJDOT develops interim and long-term plans and strategic policy on freight and shipping in and around the state. These intermodal policies cover trucking, rail, maritime and air freight.

Capital Programs

The Transportation Capital Program and the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) allocate state and federal transportation funding, including projected projects and investment.

Community programs

Assistance to local communities and grants for transportation-related projects, such as transit villages.


This is refer to technical planning, development, design and research for projects.

Bureau of Aeronautics

NJDOT's Bureau of Aeronautics has general oversight of public use airports and restricted use facilities, including airstrips, heliports and balloon ports, addresses aviation safety and provides licensing and registration on aviation facilities and aerial activities including advertising, aerial racing and sports.


The NJDOT was also responsible for funding and supporting passenger rail service within New Jersey and to and from nearby points from late 1960s onward, including procuring new modern equipment and rolling stock. The agency purchased EMD GP40Ps for the Central Railroad of New Jersey in 1968, the GE U34CH locomotives and Comet I cars for the Erie Lackawanna (1970) and Arrow I, II & III electric MU cars for the Penn Central in 1968-69, 1974 and 1977-78 respectively. During 1976 NJDOT took control of passenger rail routes operated by the Penn Central, Erie Lackawanna, CNJ and Reading Lines (with Conrail operating services under contract).

In 1979 New Jersey Transit assumed responsibilities for passenger rail in New Jersey.

NJDOT is a member of the Northeast Corridor Commission.

Traffic management


NJDOT has a Traffic Management Center (TMC) called STMC (Statewide Traffic Management Center) located in Woodbridge, New Jersey.

STMC is also the home to New Jersey State Police and the New Jersey Turnpike Authority. The STMC is staffed 24/7 and is responsible for the coordination & logistics of statewide resources during major incidents within the State of New Jersey.

See also


  1. ^ Unit, NJDOT Web Development. "New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner". Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  2. ^ About NJDOT. New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT). Retrieved July 19, 2009
  3. ^ "Fernwood Service Station" (PDF). NJDOT. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  4. ^ "New Jersey Department of Transportation Statewide Mileage" (PDF). New Jersey Department of Transportation.

External links

This page was last edited on 23 December 2019, at 22:03
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