NJ Politics Digest: Transit Agency Beats Critical Deadline

Commuters head from New Jersey Transit trains to PATH trains during a morning commute to Penn Station.

Commuters head from New Jersey Transit trains to PATH trains during a morning commute to Penn Station. Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images

After a year of commuter complaints and critical attention in the media, Gov. Phil Murphy and the leaders of NJ Transit were able to take a victory lap Monday after announcing the beleaguered agency has beaten a federal deadline in the push to install the mandated positive train control braking system.

The agency has installed the system in 282 locomotives, cab cars and wayside installations along 326 miles of track, according to a report on NJ101.5.

Meeting the deadline will allow NJ Transit to apply for permission to have PTC fully operational by the end of 2020, according to the report. There are still 158 locomotives and cab cars that still need to have the system installed. NJ Transit will also be testing its current installations through the end of the year.

During an event announcing the news, Murphy took a couple swipes at the administration of former Governor Chris Christie, who Murphy said let the agency fall behind schedule on the work. Because of that, NJ Transit had to scramble to meet the deadline, pulling cars from service, which contributed in part to this year’s many problems and delays.

Some transportation experts have claimed that the braking system could have prevented a deadly 2016 train crash in Hoboken.

Quote of the Day: “The pillars of our democracy are crumbling.” — Uyen “Winn” Khuong, executive director of Action Together New Jersey, on the now-dead proposal by state Democrats to change the redistricting process.

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NJ Politics Digest: Transit Agency Beats Critical Deadline