Monday, May 28, 2007

NJ Transit employee newsletter is costly

Newark NJ - The Cherry Hill Courier Post had an interesting article about the NJ Transit employee newsletter and the costs involved to produce and distribute it. While the article was clearly biased against the costs involved with the newsletter due to the upcoming fare increases, the article provided a good look into one of the rarely considered costs that are helping to drive up the price of public transit.

The cost to produce and distribute the "En Route" employee newsletter is over $400,000 a year. While hardly a large amount considering that $400,000 is a drop in the bucket to the overall total budget, it is something that should be looked at.

I've seen many of these employee newsletters from various transit systems across the United States and only an issue or two is worth the cost of producing. Most are simply a waste of time, resources and money. Most employee newsletters from transit systems that I have seen are on the more expensive glossy paper, multi-color printing and multi-paged.

Most of what is included in these employee newsletters are management spin on issues effecting the system and many fluff pieces to fill up the newsletter. I have seen a few employee newsletters that literally were little more than free political advertising that was paid for out of the operating funds needed to run the system.

The cost of the "En Route" newsletter is rather high in my opinion. Many places can kick out a quality newsletter for less than a quarter of the $400,000 plus that NJ Transit pays to produce their employee newsletter. They're usually a little more informative as well.

NJ Transit seriously needs to look into trimming costs in this area as do all transit systems that issue employee newsletters. With the cost to provide service continuing to rise, every penny counts and these employee newsletters do nothing to keep service on the streets.

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