Tonight marks the one year anniversary of the landfall of Hurricane Sandy.
As you may remember, in addition to all the devastation caused by the storm, New Jersey Transit compounded the disaster in the Garden State, when it negligently left a third of its fleet in vulnerable, low-lying storage yards to be flooded. While the damage was proximately caused by wind and wave, we should remember that this was a man-made disaster. The agency’s hurricane plan (with no implementation details) was ignored in its entirety, and the agency’s own prediction of the storm surge was a classic case of “Garbage In, Garbage Out”.
When the storm was past, the damage done, and riders and taxpayers demanded to know why half a billion dollars of their rolling stock was left to drown, NJ Transit obfuscated, deflected, and self-justified their failure.
NJ Transit Executive Director James Weinstein is still in his position. Neither he nor anyone else at the agency has been held accountable for its failure during Sandy. Weinstein’s boss, Governor Chris Christie, is up for re-election next month, and the latest polling shows him leading by 33 percentage points. Christie has said repeatedly that Weinstein and his team retain his full confidence.