‘Keep up the great work,’ Murphy tells NJ Transit chief
The head of NJ Transit is facing a petition calling for his ouster following a recent fiasco in which crowds of commuters were left at train stations but Gov. Phil Murphy says things are getting better and yesterday praised NJ Transit CEO Kevin Corbett, telling him to “keep up the great work.”
Last week’s stop-signal violation by an NJ Transit engineer caused long delays into and out of New York Penn Station for numerous NJ Transit trains and left big crowds of angry and confused commuters. It was the latest in a series of problems and mishaps that continue at the embattled agency.
Passengers often complain about late, inaccurate or non-existent communications when it comes to train service interruptions and delays as well as dirty rail cars and workers who don’t answer questions or bother to collect tickets.
A petition on FixNJTransit.com is calling on Corbett and state Department of Transportation Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti to resign.
But in Jersey City on Tuesday, Murphy ticked off recent progress at NJ Transit.
“We’re putting commuters first with better communications and new tools to provide them with real-time information," he said. "We’re graduating new engineers and hiring bus operators to re-fill the ranks.”
He also reminded everyone that his proposed state spending plan calls for an additional $132 million for NJ Transit.
“This investment is needed to keep our forward progress in NJ Transit’s resurgence, whether it be in personnel, rolling stock, or in our partner communities," he said. “We can’t fix everything all at once but alongside the dedicated men and women of NJ Transit, every day we’re taking step after step.”
Murphy said 93.2% of NJ Transit trains were on time last month, compared with 88.8% last February.
He added that NJ Transit is “charging ahead” on commuter safety to get the mandatory emergency braking system known as positive train control up and running by the end of the year.
The FixNJTransit petition, which late Tuesday had about 1,300 signatures, can be found here.
You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com.