New Jersey Governor Chris Christie killed the largest public transit project in the nation — a commuter rail tunnel under the Hudson — because he said the state couldn’t afford its share of the $11-billion to $14-billion cost.
In doing so, New Jersey forfeits the $3 billion expected to come from the federal government for the project, which has long been sought because it would have doubled the number of New Jersey Transit trains running between Manhattan and the Jersey suburbs. New Jersey Transit currently shares a nearly 100-year-old two-track tunnel with Amtrak.
Some public officials in the region weren’t happy with the decision and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood demanded a meeting with Christie to discuss the issue.
What remains unknown at this point is whether the federal government will re-distribute that $3 billion to other projects across the nation. Hmm.
New York MTA raises fares (Bloomberg)
The New York subway system may the nation’s busiest, but riders are seeing the price of weekly and monthly unlimited passes go up — from $27 to $29 and $89 to $104, respectively. Metro North and Long Island Rail Road fares are also going up. It’s the third increase in the past three years and intended to make up for state budget cuts to the transit system.
Today’s musical interlude is a nifty cover of Bruce Cockburn’s “Train in the Rain.”
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Climate of denial (High Country News)
A wilderness ranger in Alaska writes that when he shows them vanishing glaciers, the reaction he often receives from tourists is a blank stare and complete lack of interest. Or a pledge they’ll recycle more when they get home. Or that it’s all China’s fault. Thoughtful essay — give it a read.