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Rail News: Passenger Rail
New Jersey Gov. Murphy calls for NJ Transit audit
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday signed an executive order mandating a full-scale audit of New Jersey Transit.
The audit will review the agency's finances, leadership structure, hiring process and customer service. It also will examine NJ Transit's relationship with Amtrak and its implementation of positive train control.
The audit will mark the first step in rebuilding riders' trust at the "beleaguered mass transit agency," according to a press release issued by Murphy's office.
"The public deserves a true accounting for how this once-model agency has fallen so far, so fast — as do those of us in government [who have] the ultimate responsibility for this system, who have largely been kept in the dark," Murphy said. "Commuters cannot be left waiting for answers. And, neither will I."
The governor's order notes that New Jersey's operating subsidy for NJ Transit has "drastically" decreased over the past eight years, from $348 million in fiscal-year 2009 to $141 million in the current fiscal-year budget.
Since 1990, the agency has transferred funds from its capital budget to support operations, which has reduced, eliminated or postponed the implementation of much-needed capital upgrades, according to Murphy's order.
Other concerns include impacts to NJ Transit's Morris & Essex lines during Amtrak's repairs at New York Penn Station last summer, with commuters rerouted to Hoboken Station.
Meanwhile, northjersey.com reported that Murphy is slated to select Kevin Corbett to head NJ Transit. If chosen, he would succeed Steven Santoro, who plans to resign in April.
Corbett is vice president of strategic development in the Northeast for AECOM.
However, Murphy's office has not confirmed the appointment, according to the news website.
Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.