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NJ Transit wants to hit train commuters with $1.9B surcharge

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NJ Transit wants to hit train commuters with $1.9B surcharge

Updated 3:57 PM; Posted 2:51 PM

By Larry Higgs

lhiggs@njadvancemedia.com

NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

New York-bound rail commuters would pay a per-trip surcharge to finance the state's share of construction costs for new $12.9 billion Hudson River rail tunnels under a plan by NJ Transit.

A Wednesday letter from NJ Transit to the federal Department of Transportation outlines the plan, under which city rail commuters would pay a 90 cent per-trip surcharge to fund the tunnel project starting in 2020.

The surcharge would jump to $1.70 in 2028, and to $2.20 in 2038. 

The fee would generate $1.9 billion for NJ Transit's share of the project, according to the letter.

New York would provide $1.75 billion, but would not hit its riders with a surcharge. Instead, the state's share would be financed with a Federal Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement loan that New York would repay over 35 years.

The Port Authority committed $2.7 billion toward the Gateway project, which includes the tunnels, in a 10-year capital plan adopted earlier this year.

The financing plan was announced by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a statement Thursday that detailed how the states will meet a commitment to fund 50 percent of the Gateway cost.

The remaining 50 percent would be funded by the federal government. A federal spending bill approved in September included only $900 million toward the project. 

The new tunnels would allow repair of 107-year-old tunnels that were damaged by flood waters driven by Hurricane Sandy, which prompted Amtrak officials to warn that a tunnel could be taken out of service for a year to repair the damage, leading to a commuting nightmare. The project also funds rehabilitation of each of the old tunnels. 

Larry Higgs may be reached at lhiggs@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @commutinglarry. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

Source: http://www.nj.com/traffic/index.ssf/2017/12/nj_transit_wants_to_hit_train_commuters_with_surcharge_raise_19b.html

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I'm curious as to the actual logistics of this, with monthly pass users and the like. Besides that it doesn't seem too unreasonable as long as the surcharge is only charged for traveling in and out of NY Penn.

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I've just read a report in the NY Daily News where the Trump administration is refusing to put any money into the Gateway Project, period. There was supposedly an agreement between New Jersey, New York, and the Obama administration to fund the Amtrak-NJT tunnel project but the new administration says the agreement doesn't exist. Let's see what the "infrastructure" president has to say about this. I'm not holding my breath. Not sure if this belongs here or the Amtrak thread but I know we have commuters out there. Carry on.

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13 minutes ago, Trainmaster5 said:

I've just read a report in the NY Daily News where the Trump administration is refusing to put any money into the Gateway Project, period. There was supposedly an agreement between New Jersey, New York, and the Obama administration to fund the Amtrak-NJT tunnel project but the new administration says the agreement doesn't exist. Let's see what the "infrastructure" president has to say about this. I'm not holding my breath. Not sure if this belongs here or the Amtrak thread but I know we have commuters out there. Carry on.

Beat me to it

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On 12/29/2017 at 11:33 PM, Trainmaster5 said:

I've just read a report in the NY Daily News where the Trump administration is refusing to put any money into the Gateway Project, period. There was supposedly an agreement between New Jersey, New York, and the Obama administration to fund the Amtrak-NJT tunnel project but the new administration says the agreement doesn't exist. Let's see what the "infrastructure" president has to say about this. I'm not holding my breath. Not sure if this belongs here or the Amtrak thread but I know we have commuters out there. Carry on.

See at this point, I really wouldn't give a s**t if a cult of lizard people decided to fund this tunnel. It needs to be done. Period. The ones we have now are going through their complications in sporadic waves now and said complications are causing headaches for the many commuters who rely on NJ Transit to get to work and school (me included). Yeah some of those folks could switch over to the bus, but Port Authority has it's own capacity issues right now. We really need to do better in terms of investing in public transit because the economy pretty much depends on it. 

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