WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), the ranking member of the Senate’s mass transit subcommittee, today released the following statement in response to the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) findings of its 17-month-long investigation into the Sept. 2016 New Jersey Transit (NJT) rail crash that killed one, injured more than 110 others and caused over $6 million in structural damage at the Hoboken Terminal:
“It’s clear from the NTSB report that the horrible tragedy in Hoboken could have been prevented had N.J. Transit properly taken into account the inherent risks of both operator fatigue from sleep disorders and potential hazards at end-of-the-line stations. Unfortunately, N.J. Transit failed to do both and put its riders at unnecessary risk.
“New Jerseyans deserve a transit system that is safe and reliable. We owe it to the public that their train is not just on time, but that when they board, they get home to their families safe and sound.
“Once the envy of the nation, N.J. Transit has become the posterchild for what can go wrong when you bleed a transit agency dry of critical resources and fail to prioritize infrastructure investment. I am pleased that Gov. Murphy has made getting N.J. Transit back on track a cornerstone of his new administration.
“I will be pushing hard on the federal level to ensure the NTSB’s recommendations are fully implemented in a timely manner, including requiring all safety-critical train personnel to be screened and treated for sleep disorders and advancing installation of lifesaving technologies that can prevent crashes by taking the human element out of the equation. I will be introducing legislation to help agencies like N.J. Transit fast-track that effort.”