As a member of the Senate Legislative Oversight Committee, Kean has pushed New Jersey Transit to address maintenance and staffing issues that impact the safety and reliability of the region’s rail service.
He said the exact point of failure in this recent incident must be identified to guarantee passenger safety going forward.
“We need to know if this was a failure of equipment on the New Jersey Transit train or of the infrastructure of the tunnel which is operated by Amtrak,” said Kean. “It’s imperative that such a determination be made quickly and properly addressed to ensure that passengers are safe when they pass through the tunnels.”
Kean said that while immediate repairs are important, the construction of new tunnels to replace the century old tubes is the only real long-term solution.
“We have a combination of age-related wear and tear and damage from Sandy that’s causing more and more problems for commuters,” Kean added. “We’re at the point that a single stalled train can impact the entire system and disrupt the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. When that happens, there’s no Plan B. The federal government must recognize the national importance of building new tunnels and step up with the funding that’s needed to move the Gateway Project along.”