State lawmakers call on Gov. Murphy, President Biden to address Amtrak, NJ Transit issues

This was at least the fourth significant set of delays for NJ Transit in less than a month.

Jim Murdoch

Jun 21, 2024, 10:02 AM

Updated 28 days ago


Frustrated riders and lawmakers are demanding action to fix the ongoing issues with New Jersey Transit and Amtrak.
The transit agencies saw multiple rail line suspensions and delays this week due to overhead wire issues and power outages along the Northeast Corridor. What happens up north has an effect down the New Jersey coastline. There are many people caught up in the delays trying to get back home to Monmouth County.
“It was impossible. There were no trains, Penn Station was packed. The only other option was to sit at Port Authority and hope you were one of 55 to make a bus,” says transit rider Frank Stancampiano.

Commuters in Maplewood react to weeklong NJ Transit rail issues

Stancampiano was lucky to make it back home to Middletown Township from the city in time for his daughter’s preschool graduation, but not before shelling out hundreds of dollars this week to take the ferry, then catch a ride back to the train station.
“I was a New Jersey train commuter who is buying a lot of ferry tickets,” said Stancampiano.
He spoke with local Republican lawmakers Assemblywoman Vicki Flynn and state Sen. Declan O’Scanlon who demand action now.
“This is the Northeast Corridor. This is the most important corridor that funds transportation throughout this country. And if it’s not running the way it needs to and people stop using it, the whole country’s transportation infrastructure is going to fall apart,” said Flynn, of Monmouth County.
“Republicans and Democrats should collectively come together in the Legislature to light a fire under the governor’s butt to light a fire under the president’s butt,” said O’Scanlon.
A lot of blame for this week’s issues is getting tossed in the direction of Amtrak, but with five days in a row of delays and cancellations, and riders sitting outside in the blazing heat, Middletown Mayor Tony Perry says “My residents don’t care if it’s a federal agency like Amtrak or a state agency.”
“I think it’s time for leadership. I think it’s time for accountable leadership and the people of New Jersey will have that opportunity when they select their next governor,” said Perry.
“There needs to be some sort of infrastructure fix and some sort of plan to make this work because this is not only a lifeline for Jersey but also a lifeline for NYC and commuters can’t get in and out,” added Stancampiano.
O’Scanlon says the New Jersey Legislature needs to pass a resolution holding the governor and president accountable for the infrastructure issues, and suggests NJ Transit withhold its payments to Amtrak until real solutions are on the table.
Travel updates and more information can be found on NJ Transit’s website.

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