Christie: Don’t blame NJ Transit for the train delays
This has been a summer of misery and delays for commuters who ride New Jersey Transit trains — but who is really at fault?
Wednesday night on "New Jersey 101.5's" Ask The Governor, Gov. Chris Christie suggested NJ Transit is the victim of a bad situation.
"Things have gotten better in the past month because Amtrak fixed the problem that they had in July with their overhead wires," he said, "New Jersey Transit can't do anything about that. Amtrak owns those wires. They're responsible for keeping them in repair. New Jersey Transit couldn't go in and fix those if we wanted to."
The Governor stressed "part of what people need to understand is that we have an interdependent rail system in this part of the country — Amtrak owns some of the systems, and then the state transit systems own some of the systems."
He also said "I'm happy to be responsible for the mistakes that New Jersey Transit makes. but when Amtrak is screwing things up, and then they say, 'Well, you should fix it,' well, even if I had the money and I wanted to fix it I couldn't."
On the proposal to build a new Gateway project to build a new Hudson River rail tunnel into New York City, Christie suggested productive behind the scenes discussions are ongoing.
"There are conversations ongoing with the federal government, with our United States senators who have been involved, with New Jersey Transit, with Amtrak, and with the Port Authority and the state of New York," he said. "(New York Gov.) Andrew (Cuomo) and I have a very good relationship, as you can tell we have over the years and we both have priorities that are important to each others state and to the region."
The project is projected to cost about $20 billion, and if work begins soon, it could be completed by 2024 — but so far, the parties concerned haven't been able to agree on who is going to pay what share.