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Christie, Cuomo plot out transit plans as ‘summer of hell’ looms

Ridgewood Train Station

file photo by ArtChick


05/23/2017 05:41 PM EDT

As New York and New Jersey residents continue to grapple with the region’s ailing mass transit system, Governors Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie on Tuesday stood before reporters on opposite sides of the Hudson River and, in dueling press conferences, explained how they planned to deal with the crisis.

Both said riders on NJ Transit and Long Island Rail Road trains should expect, as Christie put it, “a summer of hell.”

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Christie, Cuomo seek Federal Grant Commitment of 50% for Rail Tunnel



Far better deal for NJ Taxpayers 

Today, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo sent a letter to President Barack Obama outlining a viable funding framework to break the logjam over funding for a new trans-Hudson commuter rail tunnel – a critical infrastructure project of regional and national economic importance. Politicker Staff, PolitickerNJ  Read more

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Feds call meeting with Christie and Cuomo to discuss new transit tunnel


JULY 27, 2015, 10:53 PM    LAST UPDATED: MONDAY, JULY 27, 2015, 10:53 PM

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx urged Governor Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday to meet with him in the next two weeks to talk about replacing the century-old Hudson River rail tunnel that is frequently the cause of delays for commuters.

Foxx’s call comes after a week in which state and federal officials traded increasingly harsh words about delays on trains entering and leaving New York City.

In a letter to the two governors obtained by The Record, Foxx recounted how the federal government put up $3 billion for a new NJ Transit tunnel that was begun in 2009, then canceled by Christie in October 2010.

Amtrak, which owns the existing tunnel and Northeast Corridor tracks used by many NJ Transit commuters daily, has proposed the Gateway project, which includes building two new tubes under the river. If Gateway were built and the existing two-track tunnel were overhauled to replace failing electrical systems and structural damage caused by flooding from Superstorm Sandy, rail capacity under the river would eventually be doubled.

Foxx said that Amtrak was in discussions with the Federal Railroad Administration about financing, but that Washington would not bankroll the project by itself.

“Neither Amtrak nor your individual states, acting alone, can replace these tunnels,” Foxx wrote. “It will take all of us working together. To that end, I would like to meet with you within the next two weeks to discuss the project, especially your states’ roles in getting it completed.”

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Christie and Cuomo offer their own Port Authority reforms, block legislators’ efforts


Christie and Cuomo offer their own Port Authority reforms, block legislators’ efforts

DECEMBER 27, 2014, 1:34 PM    LAST UPDATED: SUNDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2014, 9:39 AM

Governor Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo blocked the efforts of lawmakers in both states to reform the Port Authority and instead endorsed their own sweeping proposal on Saturday, nearly a year after the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal brought the agency under unprecedented scrutiny and criticism.

The governors agreed to no longer appoint the agency’s two top executives. They encouraged it to shed its real-estate holdings, including the World Trade Center. And they endorsed redirecting money previously set aside for the governors’ pet projects toward a new Manhattan bus terminal and other initiatives that will benefit commuters moving between New Jersey and New York, they said in a joint statement that accompanied a 103-page report of reform recommendations.

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Christie, Cuomo urged to sign Port Authority reform bills


Christie, Cuomo urged to sign Port Authority reform bills

DECEMBER 9, 2014, 5:33 PM    LAST UPDATED: TUESDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2014, 6:15 PM

Politicians and advocates from New York and New Jersey urged governors Chris Christie and Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday to approve two bills reforming Port Authority procedures.

The two bills hold the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to higher standards of transparency and accountability. They were passed unanimously by both states’ legislative bodies. Cuomo and Christie must now decide the bills’ fates. The bills will be sent to Cuomo by mid-December. Christie has until Dec. 28 to act. Both governors must approve the bills for them to take effect.

“I’m confident he’s going to sign it,” New Jersey state Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle said of Christie, after remarking that she had recently raised the issue in person with the governor. Sen. Robert Gordon wasn’t as confident, but still hoped Christie would sign.

“Governor Christie said he was going to usher in a new era of transparency and accountability. Here’s a chance for him to do that,” Gordon said.

The bills enforce laws about open meetings, financial disclosure and public records. Currently, the Port Authority, as a bi-state agency, is exempt from public records laws. The bills also require the agency to submit detailed budgets, undergo annual independent audits and hold at least six public hearings before voting on proposed toll increases.

The debate over how to reform the Port Authority comes as a panel appointed by both governors is expected to propose its own reforms in the coming weeks. It’s unclear if those recommendations will affect the proposed bills before the governors, or if they will cover the same ground.