Senator Bob Gordon and Assemblyman John McKeon will hold a joint hearing of the Senate Legislative Oversight and Assembly Judiciary Committees Wednesday in Newark on the impact on New Jersey commuters of the agreement reached by NJ Transit, Amtrak and the Long Island Railroad for extensive repairs to New York Penn Station this summer.
“Clearly, the suspension of the Morris & Essex Line’s Midtown Direct Service to New York Penn Station, and the diversion of tens of thousands of displaced rail commuters daily to PATH and New York Waterways ferries will have an impact throughout northern and central New Jersey,” said Senator Gordon (D-Bergen/Passaic), chair of the Senate Legislative Oversight Committee. “We need to thoroughly examine the agreement that NJ Transit, Amtrak and the Long Island Railroad reached and ensure that the pain is equally shared among commuters on the three railroads.”
“Commuters are already facing overcrowding and poor service, and that’s apparently going to get worse in the coming weeks, which is hard to believe,” said Assemblyman McKeon (D-Essex/Morris), chairman of the Assembly Judiciary Committee. “Morris and Essex Line riders – many of whom live in my district – in particular are going to be facing major inconvenience and are of major concern. Commuters deserve and will expect answers at our upcoming hearing.”
Scheduled to testify are the following:
· Amtrak Chief Operating Officer Scot Naparstek and Stephen Gardner, Executive Vice President for Planning, Technology and Public Affairs;
· NJ Transit Executive Director Steve Santoro and senior staff;
· PATH Director Michael Marino and Deputy Director Clarelle DeGraffe;
· New York Waterway Chairman Armand Pohan;
· A panel of elected officials on the Morris & Essex Line, tentatively including those representing South Orange, Maplewood, Morristown and Chatham Borough.
The hearing will be held at 10AM, Wednesday, May 31, 2017, in the Sheila Y. Oliver Conference Center on the 14th floor of the Leroy F. Smith Jr. Public Safety Building in the Essex County Government Complex, 60 Nelson Place, Newark, New Jersey.