NJ Politics Digest: Will State Meet PTC Deadline?

Optimism abounds that NJ Transit will meet its Dec. 31 deadline for completing federally mandated emergency-brake installation.

A New Jersey Transit train arrives at Hoboken Terminal during a morning rush hour.
A New Jersey Transit train arrives at Hoboken Terminal during a morning rush hour. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

As NJ Transit struggles, officials all say that part of the problem is due to efforts to meet a federally mandated Dec. 31 deadline for installing a positive train control system.

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But now officials at the beleaguered agency say their efforts are paying off. Radio station NJ101.5 reports that at its November board meeting, agency officials expressed optimism about meeting the federal deadline.

But that hasn’t stopped GOP legislators from pointing out that complying with federal regulations is just one of many milestones NJ Transit must achieve if it is to win back public trust after a brutal year of delays and cancellations.

Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean told the radio station the agency must still get better at communicating with riders when there are delays and punishing employees who call out at the last minute, throwing schedules into disarray.

“We need to make sure we have trained engineers trained in a more timely basis, and make sure that those people who betray the public trust by not showing up at work conveniently on a Monday or a Friday are forced to leave, and we hire people who are going to do their job,” Kean said.

Quote of the Day: “There don’t seem to be any contingency plans if a train is out of service for more than 90 minutes as there should be. The communications flow from NJ Transit to riders on a real time basis is completely inadequate and they get conflicting information frequently,” — Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean

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NJ Politics Digest: Will State Meet PTC Deadline?