Why NJ Transit is likely to get worse than it already is (Opinion)
It's already bad. Eleven trains canceled on Tuesday morning, followed by another eight that same afternoon. Then four more on Wednesday morning. The failing agency has blamed everything from lack of available personnel to the drive to meet the federal deadline to implement potentially life saving equipment known as Positive Train Control. Commuters understandably are tired of all the excuses.
It will surely get worse with the high probability of new riders following the construction planned to start on August 17th at the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel. It's gonna get ugly.
I've suggested before that the best thing to consider at this moment is a sale of the billions of dollars of assets controlled by NJ Transit in terms of real estate and equipment and bring in a transportation company to make the trains run on time. No one seems to be able to pinpoint exactly what the assets are worth in total and how much of the equipment is so outdated that it would need to be replaced. However, it's a conversation worth having.
Government bureaucracy has failed and given the budget woes in our state and the utter failure of the current administration to put a realistic plan in place to address tens of billions in future unfunded liabilities, billions in spending we can't afford and adverse impact of new taxes driving more people out of our state, we gotta start somewhere.
I will, of course, continue to push workable ideas that could turn our state around, like reallocating a billion dollars from Rutgers, implementing a reverse millionaires tax and renegotiating health and benefit plans for public workers. Of course given the hostility that the Governor and the political shills who surround him in Trenton have toward common sense, it's gonna be at least 3 more years to have traction on any of those ideas. In the meantime, we're gonna spin the wheel. That's right, The #WheelOfDelays!
I'll have tickets to giveaway over the next few days to help ease the pain for NJ commuters and taxpayers. Like I said, gotta start somewhere!
Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015. Tweet him @NJ1015 or @BillSpadea. The opinions expressed here are solely those of Bill Spadea.
More from New Jersey 101.5: