Republican candidate for congress in New Jersey’s 2nd congressional district, Seth Grossman, weighed in on the NJ Transit mess today via press release. It appears the mainstream press ignored the release, probably because the words “racist” or “bigot” don’t appear anywhere in the release.
But it does appear the folks at 6ABC at least read Grossman’s release. During their 5:00 PM reports they did a piece on the Atlantic City rail line and said some people feared the coming shutdown will be permanent. Maybe next time they’ll give Grossman some credit.
Here’s the Grossman release as it appeared in our email:
Congressional Candidate Seth Grossman Claims State Officials And Democratic Opponent Are Misleading Public by Claiming Three Month Closing of Atlantic City Rail Line is “Temporary”.
Fears Temporary Shut Down Is Prelude For Permanent Closing of Atlantic City Line
Atlantic City, NJ, August 20, 2018 – Republican candidate for Congress Seth Grossman said NJ Transit officials and his Democratic opponent, State Senator Jeff Van Drew, are misleading the public in claiming the planned three month closing of the Atlantic City rail line beginning September 5 is temporary.
“The need to install safety equipment because of the fatal crash in Hoboken two years ago is just the tip of the iceberg,” Grossman said. “The line was unsustainable for many reasons since the NJ Transit reopened it thirty years ago,” Grossman said.
“Donald Trump noticed one big problem right away. In 1989, Trump criticized state officials for “sticking the (Atlantic City) train station in the middle of nowhere, and then building the convention center next to the train station!” Others at the time predicted service would be dangerous and unreliable because only one set of tracks was built. I was part of the Atlantic City delegation with Trump when we testified to state officials about our concerns,” Grossman said.
“Thirty years later, the Atlantic City line now has only about one thousand round trip passengers a day – not nearly enough to justify the expense of staffing and maintaining the trains and some 50 miles of track,” Grossman said. “When it reopens after a three month closing, it will have far fewer customers paying for service. Once the train riders have to find alternative transportation to work, do you think they’re really coming back?”
According to the new state budget, taxpayers will bail out NJ Transit’s $332 million deficit this year with recently increased gas taxes, tolls, and surcharges added to electric bills. Even worse, NJ Transit plans to burn up $511 million of money intended for new equipment and improvements as operating expenses.
“Yet in spite of this, NJ Transit trains have worse service and safety records than most others. The fatal train crash in Hoboken that killed one and injured 100 others in 2016 forced the Federal government to mandate the installation of safety equipment on NJ transit trains throughout the state. The Hoboken crash followed a deadly 2015 Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia forcing the government to expand a program installing automatic braking safety equipment on rail lines coast to coast, including the Atlantic City line,” Grossman said.
Grossman explained that every Governor since Democrat Jim McGreevey in 2003 has pointed out the problems with NJ Transit, and now politics and mismanagement have brought the rail line to the brink of total collapse. He called Van Drew’s recent remarks asking officials to “reconsider” the September closing “dishonest and childish”, pointing out that Van Drew and Trenton insiders should be held responsible for creating NJ Transit’s problem during the past 15 years
“Instead of wasting more money on Band-Aids, we need to admit that the Atlantic City rail line is yet another failed socialist experiment of government controlling an industry they shouldn’t be involved in. We need to return this important industry to private ownership. When a government owned company fails, their answer is to bleed more money from taxpayers!”
Grossman bemoaned the fact that the railroad failed at all, noting that it once had been the foundation of Atlantic City’s thriving tourism industry.
“Back in the 1920’s, private companies ran the fastest, safest and most affordable trains in the world out of Atlantic City. The railroads enabled Atlantic City’s tourism industry to be born. Railroads declined since then when “progressive” politicians demonized railroad companies as ‘robber barons’ and crippled them with taxes and regulations that made them unprofitable,” Grossman said.
“NJ Transit was created in the 1980’s as a government owned monopoly to run all scheduled bus and train service in the state. Ironically, NJ Transit is exempt from all the regulations and taxes that drove private transportation companies out of business.”