NJ Transit withholds PTC costs from public view due to “trade secret”

Written by David C. Lester, Managing Editor
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NJ Transit

Bloomberg is reporting that New Jersey Transit is withholding the cost of recent expenditures for its Positive Train Control (PTC) project from public view.

Like the PTC systems of Class I and other commuter railroads, the cost of NJ Transit’s PTC system has exceeded projections for several years.  The spend on the NJ Transit system was about $320 million in 2017, which was more than double the forecast in 2011.  Since 2017, the public doesn’t know how much more has been spent, because NJ Transit redacted spending numbers from contracts given to Bloomberg last week stemming from a request for public records.

NJ Transit’s key contractor for its PTC system is Parsons Transportation Group of New York, and NJ Transit said that neither it nor Parsons would release the numbers because doing so would expose proprietary information.  Bryce McDevitt, a spokesman for Parsons, had no comment.

Budget cuts to NJ Transit made during the term of former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie seemed to result in safety degradation, along with late and overcrowded trains.  When current New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy arrived in 2018, he promised to remedy the problems at NJ Transit.  Amazingly, Murphy’s leadership resulted in NJ Transit achieving a major milestone for the project on December 31, 2018.

NJ Transit service is vital for those who commute to New York City.  In July, NJ Transit and Parsons executed a change order for the system, but the price is still being negotiated.

For more information, please go to bloomberg.com

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Categories: Commuter/Regional, News, Passenger
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