At a press conference in New York Penn Station, Governor Murphy, Amtrak Board Chairman Tony Coscia, and NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Kevin Corbett announced on 13 February the finalizing of a financial settlement that paves the way to ongoing and future improvements to the infrastructure, customer experience, and safety of our customers. The press conference also shared updates on several joint projects, including Penn Station, critical infrastructure projects, and safety, showcasing a commitment to collaboration and improving the customer experience to the traveling public.
“Investing in our infrastructure, improving customer experience, and enhancing the safety of the traveling public are among the highest priorities of our Administration,” said Governor Murphy. “The announcement today establishes a partnership that will achieve these goals now, and lays the financial foundation for continued improvements into the future. After eight years of disinvestment in, and mismanagement of, NJTRANSIT, collaborative partnerships like the one we are announcing today will go a long way to restoring the agency to its former preeminence.”
“We’re excited to announce that Amtrak and NJ TRANSIT, through our strong and cooperative relationship, have come to a financial agreement that paves the path to further improving the infrastructure, customer experience, and safety of our customers,” said Tony Coscia, Amtrak Chairman of the Board. “Thanks to Governor Murphy and NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Corbett’s leadership, partnership, and joint commitment to collaboration and the traveling public, the future is bright for Amtrak and NJ TRANSIT customers due to the power in partnership.”
“This agreement represents a clean slate and a new era in our relationship with Amtrak,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Kevin Corbett. “In addition to continued infrastructure improvements and enhancing safety, this significant investment and strengthened partnership allows long-stalled major capital projects along the Northeast Corridor like County Yard and the Elizabeth Station Reconstruction project to advance. NJ TRANSIT will also have more input in the coordination and prioritization of these vital projects that will have a direct impact on improving the customer experience.”
Amtrak and NJ TRANSIT have jointly agreed to reinvest all of the funds that came from this – and other – agreements into existing and future joint Northeast Corridor infrastructure projects that benefit both Amtrak and NJ TRANSIT, as well as the safety and travel experience of their customers. That includes the Portal Bridge, as both organizations also highlighted that they are ready to begin full construction on Portal North as soon as federal funding is secured.
Amtrak and NJ TRANSIT also announced their plan for joint facility improvements, including the redesign of the Main (8th Avenue) Concourse, targeted for after Amtrak’s relocation of major passenger-facing facilities to Moynihan Train Hall in 2021, to provide expanded passenger facilities and customer amenities, a refreshed ticketed waiting room, better platform access, and improved street level entrances. As the owner and steward of New York Penn Station, Amtrak is 100 percent committed to its revitalization and future development, including continuing its efforts to enhance the passenger experience.