NJ Politics Digest: It’s Official, NJ Transit Suspends Atlantic City Line

Atlantic City.

Atlantic City. John Moore/Getty Images

Gov. Phil Murphy promised when campaigning to improve service on NJ Transit. Now, folks on the agency’s Atlantic City line will have to wait until at the least the start of 2019 for those promises to take effect.

The beleaguered transit agency, which has come under fire from commuters and lawmakers for terrible service this summer, on Wednesday shut down the line to allow for installation of mandated Positive Train Control Systems on NJ Transit systems, according to a report on NJ101.5.

NJ Transit said it is providing alternatives for commuters, as well as discounted tickets, according to the report. Agency officials, however, admit the work-around will result in longer trips for commuters.
While skeptics claim the suspension is the first step in NJ Transit’s efforts to shut down the rail line, Executive Director Kevin Corbett promised that was not the case.

Gov. Phil Murphy made improving NJ Transit a primary pledge during his re-election campaign. Commuters, however, say service this summer was worse than last year’s so-called “Summer of Hell,” with last-minute cancellations and poor communications from agency staff. Murphy, on Wednesday, said problems would continue at least through the end of the year. Commuters on the Atlantic City line only found out about plans to suspend service after media reports broke the story.

Murphy claims he did not know how badly NJ Transit needed help until taking office. He blames former Gov. Chris Christie for this summer’s problems. He said Wednesday the agency is still “pursuing” efforts to communicate better. But even members of his own party have said that the agency’s problems were well known before Murphy came into office more than eight months ago and that recommendations to improve service made prior to Murphy taking office and by the governor’s own transition team have largely been ignored. Murphy has said he is waiting for the overdue results of an audit of the agency before taking action.

Quote of the Day: “I know there’s been concern and skepticism that this is a bait and switch. It is not.” — NJ Transit Executive Director Kevin Corbett, denying the beleaguered agency plans to permanently shut down the Atlantic City rail line after halting service until at least the end of the year.

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NJ Politics Digest: It’s Official, NJ Transit Suspends Atlantic City Line