NJ governor promises better transportation for 650,000 World Cup fans
If NJ Transit can handle Taylor Swift, Bruce Springsteen and K-Pop fans it then the World Cup will not be a problem in 2026, according to Gov. Phil Murphy.
While taking questions from reporters at an event in Newark on Tuesday Murphy said he is confident that NJ Transit will meet the challenges presented by the World Cup.
Murphy said the agency is "different" from when people waited for hours after the Super Bowl in 2014 for the trip from the stadium to Secaucus Junction.
The game was billed as the first "Mass Transit Super Bowl" but underestimated how many passengers would opt to take the train which can transport a maximum of 12,000 an hour between the two points.
During a hearing of the Assembly Transportation Committee, then-chairman John Wisniewski, D-Middlesex, said NJ Transit's poor performance was "almost as an advertisement as to why you should not take the train. In a sense, New Jersey shot itself in the foot by having this bad outcome."
FIFA didn't care about Super Bowl woes
Apparently, the wound has healed and World Cup riders will have a different experience during the eight matches scheduled at the stadium dubbed "New York New Jersey Stadium" for the event. Murphy estimated between 640,000 and 650,000 will be attending the matches.
The governor said FIFA did not express any concerns about NJ Transit's Super Bowl performance during their selection process.
Murphy said that whatever energy that NJ Transit put in to make the 2023 events a success "will be that on steroids" for the World Cup.
"They did that brilliantly this summer with signage and a lot of bodies ambassadors basically on the ground and you'll see a lot more of that," Murphy said.
Fare increase proposed
It could also be a different NJ Transit depending on how its financial problems are solved.
Facing a projected $119 million deficit a 15% fare increase has been proposed to take effect July 1. The plan includes an annual, automatic 3% fare increase. No cuts in service are planned.
The proposal has met with much criticism over criticism that lower-income riders are being asked to bear the brunt of the fare increase.
The public will have a chance to weigh in about the proposed increases with ten scheduled public hearings in ten New Jersey counties Monday, March 4 through Friday, March 8.
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