What to Know
- NJ Gov. Phil Murphy had a message for commuters frustrated over Thursday’s NJ Transit “minor” derailment — they have a right to be upset
- “If people are upset, I don’t blame them,” Murphy said Friday
- The "minor" train derailment near Penn Station caused a huge mess for NJT riders when service to, from the terminal was suspended for hours
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy had a message for commuters frustrated over Thursday’s NJ Transit “minor” derailment — they have a right to be upset.
“I was thinking to myself, if I were on that train it wouldn’t be a minor [derailment] to me,” Murphy said Friday referring to Thursday’s incident, adding that “if people are upset, I don’t blame them.”
The "minor" train derailment near Penn Station caused a massive mess for NJ Transit riders when service to and from the terminal was suspended for hours Thursday evening.
Though service resumed a few hours later, delays carried into Friday morning and actually got worse as the morning went on.
“Obviously safety is our first responsibility and otherwise delivering on-time, acceptable service. This incident violates all of the above,” Murphy said.
The governor also called on the Trump Administration to assist in constructing an additional tunnel under the Hudson.
“We desperately need a new tunnel under the Hudson and I’m begging president Trump and his administration to please come to that,” he said. “We desperately need it.”
Murphy stressed that he inherited a transit system plagued with issues from the previous administration — saying that the system had been underfunded, did not meet necessary safety mandates and faced an engineer shortage, calling the work to install the required safety system a “Herculean effort.”
Murphy said the agency is faced with "too few degrees of freedom, a lousy history and a federal government we desperately need as partners."
NJ Transit has faced an onset of delays and derailments in the past. Murphy has previously called the current state of New Jersey Transit a "crisis" over its train cancellations.
In the past, Murphy said he doesn't blame NJ Transit commuters one bit for their "anger or cynicism," further commenting "Let there be no doubt that the commuter is on the pedestal now and they have every right to be upset."
NJ Transit announced on Sept. 20 plans to slash fares by 10 percent for three months — from November through January — as it warns of more major service disruptions it anticipates while scrambling to meet a federal safety deadline.
Starting Sunday, Oct. 13, more than a dozen trains will be temporarily discontinued or see changes in their origins and destinations, NJ Transit said.
Passengers who travel along the Northeast Corridor, North Jersey Coast Line, Morris & Essex Lines, Montclair-Boonton and Main and Bergen County Lines will be affected by the changes, according to the agency.
"These schedule adjustments are temporary, and we anticipate beginning to restore regular service in mid-January 2019," NJ Transit said in a previous release.
“We know where we want to go, but we aren’t there yet” Murphy said Friday referring to his administration’s goals for NJ Transit.
“For all the headaches and all the challenges and the mess that we inherited, this is fixable and it will be fixed,” he said.