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More Bad News About the State of New Jersey Transit

The New Jersey Transit system, with an operating budget reduced to 10 percent of its 2009 total, has become more of a vessel for nepotism than a provider of safe transit service, according to a recent editorial.
November 14, 2016, 12pm PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"On Oct. 21, the commissioner for the state's Department of Transportation told lawmakers that all those economic sob stories were exaggerated, and that New Jersey Transit has 'sufficient money to fund its operations,'" begins an editorial by the New Jersey Star-Ledger. Yes, there's a "but" coming: "Two weeks later, the new executive director of NJ Transit established that Chris Christie's man in charge is clueless," writes the editorial board.

The executive director who dropped the truth bombs on the situation at New Jersey Transit is Steven Santoro, who recently spent four hours testifying that the administration of Governor Chris Christie "allowed a $3 billion agency to deteriorate into an industry disgrace," now "used as a cushy stopover for the governor's political cronies."

According to Santoro's testimony, the Christie Administration has had no trouble filling six-figure executive positions at New Jersey Transit, but has "neglected to fill 305 job vacancies related to safety needs."

This news is all of critical relevance due to the crash of New Jersey train #1614 at Hoboken Terminal in September. The New York Times published an article in October detailing the depths of the New Jersey Transit system's decline in October.

Back to the editorial, which makes a larger argument that budget cuts to transit operations have dire consequences. The Christie Administration has decreased the state subsidy for New Jersey Transit's operating budget from $348 million in 2009 to $33 million last year. 

Full Story:
Published on Sunday, November 13, 2016 in New Jersey Star-Ledger
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