Trenton – Senate President Steve Sweeney announced today that Senator Joe Cryan will join the Senate Select Committee on New Jersey Transit, the special committee established to investigate the reasons for NJ Transit’s continued failures and to develop an action plan to turn around the embattled agency.
“Joe Cryan will be a strong voice who will help us get the answers and information we need to understand why NJ Transit continues to be plagued with operational and financial problems,” said Senator Sweeney. “Transit’s record of cancellations, delays and breakdowns is inexcusable, the absence of a long-term plan is troubling and the fact that they appear to be laying the groundwork for a fare hike is disturbing.”
“I look forward to finding solutions that allow NJ Transit to provide the service their passengers need and deserve,” said Senator Cryan (D-Union), the vice chair of the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee. “People rely on trains and buses in their daily lives to get them where they need to be. They must be able to trust in the reliability and affordability of service.”
Senator Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland) will chair the committee, whose members will include Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen), Deputy Majority Leader Sandra Cunningham (D-Hudson), Senate Transportation Committee Chair Patrick Diegnan (D-Middlesex) as well as Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean (R-Morris/Somerset/Union), Senator Kip Bateman (R-Hunterdon/Mercer/Middlesex/Somerset), and Senator Kristin Corrado (R-Bergen/Essex/Morris/Passaic).
NJ Transit trains are four times as likely to be cancelled as Long Island Railroad and Metro North trains, and NJ Transit’s accident and breakdown rate is worse than other major railroads. Bus operations are a constant problem as well. The agency has struggled to hire enough bus drivers, and breakdowns of old buses are a frequent problem.
The Select Committee would hold public hearings and roundtables, and conduct site visits.