NJ Politics Digest: Feds Refuse Blame for NJ Transit Woes

An FRA spokesman said that since NJ Transit voluntarily suspended service on certain lines, it can restart that service whenever it likes.

Normal NJ Transit service will resume April 1 at the earliest, according to state officials.
Normal NJ Transit service will resume April 1 at the earliest, according to state officials. Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Federal transportation officials weren’t having any of it when Gov. Phil Murphy and other state officials tried to blame them for delays in returning service to three suspended NJ Transit rail lines.

Murphy and other officials had said service on the Atlantic City rail line, the Princeton Shuttle and the Raritan Valley Line couldn’t be restored until the state received approval from the Federal Railroad Administration.

The state had suspended service on the lines while it worked to install federally mandated Positive Train Control systems on NJ Transit trains. Now that the state has completed that work, Murphy said the federal shutdown was delaying the FRA approvals needed to restore service on those lines.

Not true, the FRA responded, according to a report on NJ.com. An FRA spokesman said that since NJ Transit voluntarily suspended the service, it may restart that service whenever it likes.

NJ Transit officials are now claiming they will restore service once they address the manpower issues and equipment problems that led to 2018 being a nightmare of a year for commuters.

While not committing to a firm date to restore service, state officials have said April 1 is the earliest to expect it, according to the report.

Quote of the Day: “The totality of these bills is just a recipe for taxpayer disaster two or three years down the road,” — John Donnadio, executive director of the New Jersey Association of Counties, on Gov. Phil Murphy signing the $15 minimum wage bill.

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NJ Politics Digest: Feds Refuse Blame for NJ Transit Woes