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NJ Transit Director Says Changes Are Being Made to Improve Northeast Corridor

7-4-12

Sandwiched between New York City and Philadelphia and holding the distinction of the most-densely populated state, New Jersey relies on NJ Transit to serve many of its transportation needs. NJ Today Senior Correspondent Desiree Taylor sat down with NJ Transit Executive Director Jim Weinstein for a discussion about the company.

Weinstein said NJ Transit is looking at bus routes in its core area to make sure they are the most efficient and effective. “A lot of these routes are legacy routes that have been there for years and years and years and they were built on delivering a service to a different era. And so I think it’s our responsibility as managers of the system to make sure that the service we’re providing matches up with the service the people need,” he said. “We’ve listened to what people told us. We tried to be responsive.”

Many of the rail problems are connected with the Northeast Corridor, according to Weinstein. He said the system is very old and needs a lot of investment, which is something Amtrak and NJ Transit knows. “It will take literally billions of dollars,” he said.

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Amtrak already has a half billion dollar project in the works from Trenton to New Brunswick, according to Weinstein.

“Frankly our goal is to work with Amtrak to make sure that the Northeast Corridor gets up to a state of repair that’s identical to the terrific state of good repair on the rail lines that we actually own and operate and dispatch,” he said.

Amtrak is moving forward with the Gateway Tunnel Project, a plan that replaced the ARC project, which Weinstein said was scrapped because the state couldn’t afford it. He said another tunnel is necessary to deal with growing number of passengers from New Jersey to New York.

NJ Transit is providing information to Amtrak. “We, in executing the ARC project up to the point that we did, we gathered an immense amount of information about the geology and all of those sort of arcane things that are associated with the tunnel,” Weinstein said. “And frankly it’s going to be important to the future of the business.”