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Via Garibaldi 8

Murphy orders audit of 'national disgrace' NJ Transit

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Murphy orders audit of 'national disgrace' NJ Transit

Updated Jan 22, 5:00 PM; Posted Jan 22, 12:45 PM

 

By Brent Johnson

bjohnson@njadvancemedia.com,

NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday signed an executive order for a "full-scale" audit of problem-plagued NJ Transit, the agency he's described as going from national model to "national disgrace."

"This agency must be boiled down to its essentials and put back together again," the Democrat said Monday during a news conference at Summit train station six days after he was sworn in to succeed Republican Gov. Chris Christie.

"Our goal must be a new New Jersey Transit," Murphy added.

Murphy did not give a firm response when asked would happen should the audit result in a call for a new fare hike to help fix the agency that runs the Garden State's bus and train system, carrying hundreds of thousands of commuters each day.

But he downplayed the possibility. 

"I'm hard pressed to think that's a conclusion," Murphy said. "I think we have to believe that there are extraordinary inefficiencies in this organization that we can be much smarter taking advantage of."

Fares have already risen 36 percent since 2009, the governor's office said.

Murphy said the audit will review NJ Transit's finances, leadership, hiring practices, customer service, and culture. He added it will also examine the agency's relationship with Amtrak and the delayed implementation of Positive Train Control, a system designed to stop a train before an accident occurs. 

IMG_2452.jpg

Gov. Phil Murphy signs an executive order for an audit of NJ Transit during a news conference Monday at Summit train station.

The governor said the audit will be completed as "fast as possible" -- possibly within the next three months.

"The public cannot be left waiting for answers," Murphy said surrounded by a bipartisan group of four lawmakers: state Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, D-Bergen; state Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr., R-Union; state Assemblyman John McKeon, D-Essex; and Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz, R-Union.

NJ Transit has been beset by issues for years, including train derailments, continuous delays, and aging equipment. In September 2016, a trail derailment in Hoboken killed a woman and injured more than 100 people. 

The Associated Press found NJ Transit had more accidents and paid more in fines for safety violations than any other commuter railroad in the country over the previous five years.

Shortly before he became governor, Murphy sent a letter to NJ Transit calling for its top officials to resign.

"You remember that movie 'Network'?" Murphy asked reporters Monday. "Where they're all hanging out the window. 'I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore.' That's the commuter."

"This transcends partisan politics," he added. "People are mad as heck. And they deserve a better experience."

The Summit station is on the busy Morris & Essex line, and a concrete wall there is crumbling. Pieces of broken concrete fell on the tracks last year.

Munoz -- whose district includes the Union County city -- said the move will do more than simply help residents have a better commute. 

"Property values are directly linked to our ability to commute to work," the assemblywoman added.

Murphy said the audit will be overseen by his nominee for state transportation commissioner, former Turnpike Authority Executive Director Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti. The Democratic-controlled state Senate still has to confirm Gutierrez-Scacceti. 

This was the fifth executive order Murphy has signed since becoming governor last Tuesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Brent Johnson may be reached at bjohnson@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @johnsb01. Find NJ.com Politics on Facebook.

Source: http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2018/01/murphy_orders_audit_of_nj_transit_but_isnt_firm_on.html

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20 minutes ago, A Former New Yorker said:

Well IDK If Murphy will even improve that "national disgrace" 

Doing an audit is a step in the right direction. On this forum, we've been focusing a lot of the (MTA) 's disasters, but NJTransit has been equally as bad if not worse.  They've had something like a 36% increase in fares over the last several years, and yet service continues to worsen.  

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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12 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Doing an audit is a step in the right direction. On this forum, we've been focusing a lot of the (MTA) 's disasters, but NJTransit has been equally as bad if not worse.  They've had something like a 36% increase in fares over the last several years, and yet service continues to worsen.  

Yeah i know they should do a audit of the own state goverment too

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On 1/23/2018 at 1:03 PM, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Doing an audit is a step in the right direction. On this forum, we've been focusing a lot of the (MTA) 's disasters, but NJTransit has been equally as bad if not worse.  They've had something like a 36% increase in fares over the last several years, and yet service continues to worsen.  

You can thank ol' tubby for slicing their budget into pieces and dipping into their budget to fix other things....that were evidently not fixed.

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I took the NEC last night (from New Brunswick).... Don't know WTF was going on around Penn station last night (movie shoot, TV shoot, something, who knows, IRDGAF).... Barricading off all the nearby intersections so people can't cross the street (7th av)... Cops telling people they had to cross at 34th st - but you couldn't even get to that point from 33rd/7th, because you had a slew of onlookers blocking the way, taking pictures & shit (by that BoA; Bank of America).... Other cops asking people for tickets, I'm like, oh, son of a b**** with this shit.....

7th wasn't completely blocked off to vehicular traffic though; looked like it only had the 2 eastern-most lanes... Anyway, some 2 broads trying to make small talk with me (although she was cute, but I was livid - wrong place, wrong time) as I'm standing there trying to figure out where the hell I'm going to cross, thinking I was one of the onlookers, when I just wanted to get away from all that chaos.... I made sure one of the cops heard me say that shit (about people talking pictures blocking the way) too..... Had a nice 'fan trip before the fact & that crap completely spoiled my mood.... So what I did was backtrack (through penn station), exit through that new entrance for the LIRR on the NW corner of 31st/8th, so I could be able to walk up to Broadway..... Stopped & went and got a pizza in the process (which wasn't what I planned on doing).... At least the (N) I caught was right there (28th st) & I was able to get a seat....

Sans that rant, what I really came in this thread to say was.... I shouldn't have to breathe a sigh of relief upon entering a rail station.... That's how little faith I have with the rails w/ NJT.... I know there's a New Brunswick - PABT bus service (Coach USA), but I didn't know where to catch it, nor did I know if it was even running (I got to N. Brunswick around 5:30 or so).... Caught the 5:44 NEC to Penn btw....

Guess I'll also take the time to say that an #815 apparently had mech. issues at Woodbridge mall... Someone came in with another bus the exact same time the #48 I was on, pulled into the last stop there.... I was thinking that was an #810, but when the technician/mechanic, whoever he was, powered on the initial bus that was sitting there, it had the 815 Woodbridge mall sign up..... I planned on taking whichever bus came first, being that both the 810 & the 815 both go to New Brunswick....

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17 minutes ago, B35 via Church said:

I took the NEC last night (from New Brunswick).... Don't know WTF was going on around Penn station last night (movie shoot, TV shoot, something, who knows, IRDGAF).... Barricading off all the nearby intersections so people can't cross the street (7th av)... Cops telling people they had to cross at 34th st - but you couldn't even get to that point from 33rd/7th, because you had a slew of onlookers blocking the way, taking pictures & shit (by that BoA; Bank of America).... Other cops asking people for tickets, I'm like, oh, son of a b**** with this shit.....

7th wasn't completely blocked off to vehicular traffic though; looked like it only had the 2 eastern-most lanes... Anyway, some 2 broads trying to make small talk with me (although she was cute, but I was livid - wrong place, wrong time) as I'm standing there trying to figure out where the hell I'm going to cross, thinking I was one of the onlookers, when I just wanted to get away from all that chaos.... I made sure one of the cops heard me say that shit (about people talking pictures blocking the way) too..... Had a nice 'fan trip before the fact & that crap completely spoiled my mood.... So what I did was backtrack (through penn station), exit through that new entrance for the LIRR on the NW corner of 31st/8th, so I could be able to walk up to Broadway..... Stopped & went and got a pizza in the process (which wasn't what I planned on doing).... At least the (N) I caught was right there (28th st) & I was able to get a seat....

Sans that rant, what I really came in this thread to say was.... I shouldn't have to breathe a sigh of relief upon entering a rail station.... That's how little faith I have with the rails w/ NJT.... I know there's a New Brunswick - PABT bus service (Coach USA), but I didn't know where to catch it, nor did I know if it was even running (I got to N. Brunswick around 5:30 or so).... Caught the 5:44 NEC to Penn btw....

Guess I'll also take the time to say that an #815 apparently had mech. issues at Woodbridge mall... Someone came in with another bus the exact same time the #48 I was on, pulled into the last stop there.... I was thinking that was an #810, but when the technician/mechanic, whoever he was, powered on the initial bus that was sitting there, it had the 815 Woodbridge mall sign up..... I planned on taking whichever bus came first, being that both the 810 & the 815 both go to New Brunswick....

I had one thing to do and then immediately went back home to avoid that mess. I believe the Grammy's were last night at MSG. I had heard about how streets would be closed off and wanted no part of it, but I wasn't sure what date it would be.  Just about every weekend now there is something with hoards of people everywhere. A real turnoff.  I try to avoid certain areas entirely now, or get in early and get the hell out.

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