McKeon: Yesterday’s Deadly Amtrak Crash Underscores Urgency for NJ Transit Action

Assembly Judiciary Committee Chair, John McKeon (D-Essex/Morris), who has led a series of joint legislative hearings on NJ Transit’s operations, issued the following statement on Tuesday:

“As we learn that Positive Train Control (PTC) may have been able to stop yesterday’s deadly Amtrak disaster in Washington State, the imperative to finish installation of the system in New Jersey seems to be falling behind.

“From NJ Transit regulatory documents filed recently, the agency itself has admitted again that it remains behind on implementing PTC. Of the 326 miles of track NJ Transit owns, not one mile has the system currently operationally and less than six percent of its trains are equipped with the system.

“While the agency ‘continues to have every expectation’ of meeting the federally mandated deadline of December 2018 to have the full NJ Transit rail system equipped with PTC, I, for one, do not believe them.

“Under the Christie administration, NJ Transit has missed deadline after deadline for PTC. They have bungled everything from the renting of the office space needed to run the program to finding the right contractor to install the system.

“Perhaps if this Governor’s reckless leadership strategy of filling key positions with political patronage hires hadn’t been a top priority, NJ Transit would be on track to meet its PTC deadline. Instead, NJ Transit is in decline and our commuters again are bearing the brunt.”