After a week of commuting troubles caused by a derailed train at Penn Station in New York, Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Morris, Essex, Passaic) said he believes the issues related to New Jersey’s rail system and NJ Transit could have been addressed years ago if the Assembly Transportation Committee had advanced his legislation to create a rail study commission.
“I’ve introduced a bill to create a rail study commission every session since 2010, and it’s passed the Senate three times,” said Senator Pennacchio, a member of the Senate Transportation Committee. “However, the bill has never been granted a hearing in the Assembly. Not once. Had the Assembly acted sooner, we might have had a chance to fix some of our commuter rail problems.”
The legislation, SJR-12, creates the “Passenger Rail System Study Commission,” which would be tasked with evaluating the state’s passenger rail system. It would develop recommendations on how to better utilize existing rail infrastructure through improving efficiency and decreasing costs.
“The commission established under my legislation could have started looking for ways to improve safety, reduce crowding, and cut costs years ago,” Senator Pennacchio said. “Now, once again the State is scrambling for answers while New Jersey commuters and transit employees deal with chaos at Penn Station. They shouldn’t have to pay the price for the Assembly Transportation Committee’s failure to act.”