Report from the Chair, Sept./Oct. 2023

A lot has been written about NJ Transit’s decision to sell its headquarters building and move to the expensive Gateway building, so there is no point in belaboring it here. If in fact it was a well-reasoned decision, then the board shot itself in the foot by not revealing more details and the justification. We in New Jersey are so used to the lack of transparency—and, sadly, even the legislators rarely questioning any agency actions—that we tend to complain and move on, but when no explanations are given, we worry. Worse yet, the opponents of transit are strengthened in the quest to deny the agency funds on the (unsupported yet also unrebutted) grounds they waste money.

Read more: Report from the Chair, Sept./Oct. 2023

Coming up this month is the March to End Fossil Fuels. I note that we continue to support environmental activists and local residents in asking the agency to be forward-thinking, to support the state renewable- energy goals with a NJ Transitgrid that is focused on clean energy, not fracked gas. We urge the board and staff to think in terms of “one and done”, not “stopgap today, solar tomorrow”. Knowing that a lot of marchers are not familiar with NJ Transit trains, LC members will be at some of the stations to help folks navigate senior fares, ticket vending machines, apps, and getting through Secaucus Junction and New York Penn Station. We look forward to providing this public service and making new friends for the Coalition.

On Sept. 30, we will be taking a Connections Tour of local transit, starting at 10:30 A.M. at Newark Penn Station and ending at about 3 P.M. at Grand Central Terminal. All are welcome to join us—look for us in the Newark waiting room. We’re also discussing a fall foliage ride to Port Jervis; watch our website for details.

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