Update (12:15 p.m.): New Jersey Transit’s website is back up and running. Below is the saga of their technologically frustrating morning.
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On any given day, New Jersey Transit’s website, redesigned and relaunched in October 2009, should look a little bit something like this:
This morning though visitors to NJTransit.com found a placeholder instead. Right now, when I navigate to the commuter rail, I see the following:
Essentially, New Jersey Transit allowed its domain name registration to lapse, and its registrar put up the standard link farm. According to the WHOIS record for NJTransit.com, the domain name expired on Jan. 7, 2011, coincidentally the same day that I’ve heard the agency’s CIO stepped down. New Jersey Transit spokesman Dan Stessel said that the agency was “investigating the glitch” and that there is no danger of their losing the website. “There is no risk of anyone buying the website,” he said. “We’ve got it for the next 20 years.”
Of course, if the renewal wasn’t submitted in a timely fashion, the site will inevitably go down for a few hours. According to The Star-Ledger, the agency continued to send out text alerts this morning while dealing with this so-called glitch, and customers using AT&T — but not Verizon — were able to access the website. Either way, that’s an embarrassing and amusing mishap in an age when transit agencies are trying to better integrate technology into their daily operations.