Rep. Menendez calls on Buttigieg to hold Amtrak accountable for NJ Transit delays


U.S. Rep. Rob Menendez (D-8) called on U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to hold Amtrak accountable for the recent NJ Transit delays throughout New Jersey.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“While we appreciate everything the department is doing to facilitate the historic Infrastructure and Jobs Act to improve transportation across the country, out constituents are dealing with serious issues during their day-to-day commutes,” Menendez said at the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Hearing yesterday.

“Several times over the past month, NJ Transit riders have experienced significant delays during their daily commutes, these delays have left commuters stranded for hours impacting their ability to work, travel, and see loved ones.”

The congressman further stated that Amtrak disruptions caused delays for NJ Transit riders over 20 times over the past six weeks, including cancellations and disruptions of service along the Northeast Corridor.

He also highlighted a letter from the New Jersey delegation, an effort spearheaded by himself and U.S. Rep. Mike Sherrill (D-8), asking for answers on what happened with the NJ Transit shortfalls.

“I want to just put this in human terms: We both have young families. Imagine leaving for work and assuming that you’ll be able to get back to your children relying on public transportation, we want to relieve congestion, we want people to use mass transit,” Menendez continued.

“Imagine walking out your door and not knowing when you’re going to get back home.”

He then asked Buttigieg to explain what they’re doing to help remedy the situation.

“We know that commuters on NJ Transit have been subject to infuriating delays as you have described and FRA [Federal Railroad Administration] personnel are involved on the ground assessing what took place and trying to get an understanding of what appears to be physical damage to NJ Transit cars, operating at least some of their trip on Amtrak resources,” Buttigieg explained.

“I’m aware that earlier today Amtrak and NJ Transit announced a joint action plan, I haven’t had a chance to review that, but one thing I will also direct FRA to do is to support in any way they can that process.”

Further adding to unrest is the fact that NJ Transit and their union engineers have been unable to reach a new deal, potentially paving the way for a strike in the fall.

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