Sunday, March 23, 2003

  • MORE DELAYS FOR SOUTH JERSEY LRT If it isn't one thing, it's something else. That seems to be the motto for the South Jersey LRT system, whose start-up has been delayed yet again. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that delays in the delivery of several of the diesel powered LRVs has pushed the opening of the line back to November. When NJT officials broke ground in 2000, service was expected to begin two years later. However, cost overruns and a bridge collapse in Burlington County, not to mention a lack of support from the McGreevey administration, have caused service to be delayed for nearly a year and a half. To make matters worse, the ridership projections have decreased from nearly 9,300 trips in 1996 to nearly 5,900 today. A New Jersey Transit exec told the Inquirer that "...(s)omething would have to go very amiss for us to open next year." Like enough things haven't already gone amiss? An introductory fare of $1.10 would result in only a 6 percent cost recovery. This would almost be the equivalent of ridership on the El only being about 4,000 or so per day. The bad news is that NJT is already too far along with this boondoggle that they have no choice but to finish it.
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