Bernhard Robert Wagenblast (born September 1, 1956 in Elizabeth, New Jersey) is a transportation journalist and voice-over artist. He's the founder and editor of the Transportation Communications Newsletter. The newsletter originated as a discussion group in June 1998, evolving into its current format shortly thereafter. He also edits The AASHTO Daily Transportation Update, published by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and hosts AASHTO's ETAP Podcast and the ITE Talks Transportation podcast for the Institute of Transportation Engineers.
Wagenblast has been a lifelong resident of Cranford, New Jersey and attended Cranford High School. He then went on to graduate from Seton Hall University where he was active in the college's radio station, WSOU-FM (South Orange, NJ), serving as the News Director there in 1976–1977, and Station Manager in 1977–1978. In 2016 he was inducted into WSOU's Hall of Fame.
Wagenblast is the founder and editor of the Transportation Communications Newsletter. He also has served as the voice for various transportation facilities including AirTrain Newark, AirTrain JFK, New York City Subway, and the highway advisory radio system at Newark Liberty International Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport. As of May 28, 2015 he can be heard as the voice on the refurbished cars running on the PATCO Speedline. He is the voice of the PATH customer information line as well as the main phone number for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. On July 4, 2004 he was the announcer during the laying of the cornerstone of One World Trade Center at the World Trade Center site.
Wagenblast was a traffic reporter for the New York City office of Shadow Traffic/Metro Networks (a Westwood One company), where he began his career in the transportation field in 1979 as one of that company's original on-air reporters. Through his work for Shadow, he appeared on several New York City radio stations over a five-year period, including WINS and WABC. On WABC he used the name Jack Packard which was given to him by legendary Top 40 DJ Dan Ingram who was doing the morning drive shift on WABC when Wagenblast began airing traffic reports on the station in December 1979. The name was based on a character from the old time radio program "I Love a Mystery". In addition to the New York City stations, Wagenblast also appeared on WBAB (Babylon, NY), WMTR (Morristown, NJ), WVIP-FM (Mt. Kisco, NY), WWDJ (now WNYM) (Hackensack, NJ), WNAB-AM (Bridgeport, CT) and WERA (Plainfield, NJ).
After working for Shadow Traffic the first time, Wagenblast joined the New York City Department of Transportation, where he helped to establish the city's first transportation communications center. Afterward, he moved to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and was operations manager at TRANSCOM, a coalition of transportation agencies in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. He also was involved in the start of the I-95 Corridor Coalition, serving as co-chair of the Highway Operations Group.
Following over a decade of work in government, Wagenblast rejoined the private sector serving as the NYC Director of Operations for SmartRoute Systems, a Senior Associate for TransCore and working with SmartRoute Systems to help grow their public sector Intelligent Transportation Systems business.
Wagenblast returned to WINS in April 2008, doing traffic reports in the early afternoon hours (from 12:31 to 2:51). Wagenblast called his 23-year absence from the station a "lunch break" and one of the longest absences in the history of the New York media market. In addition, he was heard on WKXW-FM (Trenton, NJ) and WRCN (Riverhead, NY). He worked for Total Traffic in Rutherford, New Jersey.
- "Daily Transportation Update". American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
- AASHTO (May 4, 2020). "AASHTO's ETAP Podcast". Simplecast.com. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
- "ITE Talks Transportation Podcast Series". Professional and Career Development. Institute of Transportation Engineers. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
ITE Talks Transportation is a collaboration between ITE and Bernie Wagenblast, founder and editor of the Transportation Communication Newsletter and host of Transportation Radio.
- "Cranford Resident, Radio Announcer, AirTrain Voiceover — Bernie Wagenblast's Boyhood Dream a Fruitful Career". TAPinto Cranford. Cranford, NJ. April 8, 2015. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
- "Freedom Tower Groundbreaking" at IMDb
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-07-26. Retrieved 2006-10-22.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- WWRL still has plenty left to offer
- Bernie Wagenblast at IMDb
- Out Of The Sounds Of Jersey, A Familiar Voice Makes A Mosaic - Profile on NPR's All Things Considered, from July 4, 2014
- Profile in The New York Times, from February 23, 2012
- Video of cornerstone laying ceremony for the Freedom Tower on July 4, 2004
- Shadow Traffic Turns 25 - Article from the New York Daily News, from December 7, 2004
- City traffic reports are cutting through the gridlock - Article from the New York Daily News, from December 3, 2009