In the Trenton Transit Center on Thursday morning, New Jersey Governor Murphy announced a short term plan to try and turn around New Jersey Transit, the state’s floundering transportation agency.
Present alongside the Governor were Kevin Corbett, the newly confirmed Executive Director of NJ Transit, and the Acting Commissioner of the state Department of Transportation, Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti.
The Governor announced that NJ Transit would be bringing twenty railcars back into service that had been sidelined for positive train control upgrades, a federally-mandated safety technology.
However, it later became clear that these twenty cars would only partially help riders, who have lately been met with shorter trains that are standing room only.
Ms. Gutierrez-Scaccetti said that the agency was short, in total, 37 cars in order to meet its requirements for basic service, notwithstanding any breakdowns or trains being taken out of service. To further fill this gap, NJ Transit will be contracting with MARC, a commuter railroad outside of Baltimore, Maryland, to lease around twenty additional railcars.
NJ Transit spokeswoman Nancy Snyder declined to comment on the terms or time period of the agreement, saying that negotiations were ongoing.
The new leadership repeatedly emphasized their frustration with the New Jersey Transit inherited from the Christie administration, and that they were doing their best to remediate the situation.
“I want to sleep at night,” Gutierrez-Scaccetti said.