New Jersey Transit

, which provides bus and rail service linking New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia, has spent about $1.7 million to distribute 1000 press-to-talk handsets manufactured by Nextel to train crews so they can communicate more efficiently with dispatchers, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The purchases came as a direct result of a train derailment in July 2003, during which train crew communications were hampered, the paper said. The transit authority’s contract with Nextel calls for conductors and trainmen to receive unlimited use of the handsets during nights and weekends and 500 free peak minutes per month for personal use, the paper reported.