Gov. Phil Murphy again apologized to New Jersey commuters for the chronic delays and cancellations that plagued NJ Transit over the summer.
Speaking Monday night on Ask Governor Murphy, a radio program at WBGO in collaboration with WHYY and WNYC, he said “We’ve got to get this right. I understand people’s frustration.”
Murphy said the root of the problem began before he took office. The Governor said he has only been in office for eight months and the federal government mandated states install Positive Train Control and the deadline is December 31. He also said that his predecessor Gov. Chris Christie starved NJ Transit’s budget and reduced its workforce. This, he said, led to crew shortages at the very moment the rail agency was being asked to more.
He fielded other question ranging from voting security to why there isn’t a pedestrian bridge linking New Jersey to Manhattan. On voting security, he said the state is looking at many approaches to ensure voting integrity and that creating a paper trail for voting machines is just one part of that.
He enthusiastically supported the idea of a walkable bridge to New York City, in addition to the pedestrian walkway that already exists on the George Washington Bridge. But used the moment to lament the lack of federal support for building a train tunnel between the two states.
Murphy says he remains optimistic that legalized recreational marijuana will happen in New Jersey and that it will include some form of expungement for those who have already been convicted on low-level marijuana crimes.