Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Murphy's First Stop: Hoboken Terminal

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Murphy's First Stop: Hoboken Terminal

Article excerpt

First impressions matter. As we wrote Tuesday after Phil Murphy was announced as New Jersey's next governor, where the governor-elect chooses to go the day after the election says something about the tone and priorities of his administration. Wednesday morning, Murphy was at Hoboken Terminal greeting commuters. Bravo.

We've been waiting for a governor who sees mass transit as vital to a vibrant New Jersey economy. The better our system of trains, buses and light rail, the more competitive our state is in attracting residents and business investment. Mass transit should not be an afterthought. For Gov. Chris Christie, NJ Transit was just another soft-landing pad for a connected former staffer. His former press spokesman Michael Drewniak, under an ethical cloud after Bridgegate, managed to end up as the chief of staff at the beleaguered transit agency without having any tangible experience in transit.

Perhaps, if the agency was running like – well, like a well-run railroad – there might have been room for someone who didn't really bring much to the table. But that was not the case. And that would still not excuse wasting taxpayer money. But we digress.

Christie bled NJ Transit, diverting money earmarked for the ARC tunnel project, which he canceled, to other infrastructure projects. It was his way of delaying raising the gas tax to shore up the Transportation Trust Fund. Dedicated money for NJ Transit diminished and the agency was fed from other budgets. Was this any way to run a transit agency? No.

Murphy campaigned that he would be an infrastructure governor. He promised to properly fund NJ Transit, see a new bus terminal constructed in midtown Manhattan, expand light rail into Bergen County and help shepherd the Gateway project from planning stages to construction.

Finding the money for all of this will be a challenge. But Murphy must keep his word about his priorities. …

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