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Tag: NJTransit

Penn Station Debacle ?>

Penn Station Debacle

Penn Station is the busiest passenger transportation facility in the Western Hemisphere. It’s a disaster. It is a low-ceilinged underground facility with inferior facilities for both passengers and the trains from three lines that use the terminal. Perverse incentive Amtrak, the owner of the station, has a perverse incentive: make life worse for the commuter and be rewarded with more money and more power. Our politicians are unwittingly supporting a continuation of this unhappy situation. Amtrak says it is capable…

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Buses for NJTransit ?>

Buses for NJTransit

They cost how much? New Jersey Transit plans to replace its bus fleet, which for the most part was put into service between 2000 and 2008.  The board of NJTransit approved the purchase of 772 new buses at its meeting of 15 July 2015.  In July 2016, Governor Chris Christie halted acquisitions of these buses while financing problems with the state’s Transportation Trust Fund are resolved.  What are these buses and how much do they cost? NJTransit selected the MCI…

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Christie stops transportation projects ?>

Christie stops transportation projects

New Jersey funds transportation projects using an accounting device called the Transportation Trust Fund.  Despite this warm and fuzzy name, it’s not like the trust fund rich kids and widows have.  In fact, it is a liability on the books of the state of New Jersey.  It doesn’t have assets, but rather owns $16 billion in the form of bonds.  It is broke.  The gasoline tax, at 10.5 cents per gallon generates to $416 million per year.  Debt service on…

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Mass Transit Accounting ?>

Mass Transit Accounting

Before you complain about the cost of a ticket on NJTransit, understand that your ticket covers only a quarter of the cost of providing you the service.  Complain if you will that the train is late or dirty or the bus driver is rude.  The fact is that someone else kicks in three bucks for every dollar you spend. Businesses account differently for spending on land and factories, things that last a while (capital spending) and on supplies, salaries, and…

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Real Money for Transportation ?>

Real Money for Transportation

“A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon, you’re talking real money.” Everett Dirksen R-IL (1896 – 1969) May was the month for capital budgets – capital, as in capital punishment.  New York area transportation agencies lined up to spend a bunch of money not of them has. MTA — $27 billion NY Governor Andrew Cuomo approved the five year plan for New York buses and subways. PANYNJ — $28 billion The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey…

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Gateway and California High Speed Rail ?>

Gateway and California High Speed Rail

New Jersey Transit and Amtrak riders dream of the day the century-old Portal Bridge in Kearny, NJ is replaced.  This old swing bridge opens a few times a week, mostly to make way for barges loaded with sewage sludge to move down the Hackensack River.  The old bridge breaks down and thousands of riders wait while the bridge is fixed.  It’s an example of the Northeast’s crumbling infrastructure and our need to invest. Portal Bridge is on a section of…

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