McKeon Statement on NJ Transit Hearing

Assemblyman John F. McKeon (D-Morris/Essex), chair of the Assembly Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement Thursday after a joint meeting of the Assembly Judiciary Committee and the Senate Legislative Oversight Committee regarding improving New Jersey Transit performance:

“This evening’s hearing was a reminder that safety must be the top priority at NJ Transit. Five months after the Hoboken crash, hearing testimony from Sheldon Kest, who sustained an injury on that day, was heartbreaking. Hearing that NJ Transit has made no effort to reach out to him was outrageous. This is about real people’s lives, and it would benefit the agency to listen to – and learn from – stories like his.

“No one should get onto an NJ Transit train, bus or light rail vehicle and fear for his or her life. In addition to addressing concerns about accessibility, affordability, scheduling and communication, the New Jersey Legislature must do everything in its power to ensure that incidents like the trash crash in Hoboken and the recent bus crashes in Newark and in the Lincoln Tunnel never happen again.

“The third-largest provider of train, bus and light rail service in the nation has the potential to be the best mass transit system in the nation, but it won’t happen on its own. Only with a concerted effort to improve NJ Transit – an effort that comprises adequate state funding, proper management of that funding and a commitment to act on the concerns people brought forth this evening – can we deliver transportation equity and reliably connect more New Jersey residents to the jobs, schools and health care services they need.”