U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) today released the following statement in reaction to a report by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office on the costs of the Access to the Region's Core (ARC) Tunnel project. The report indicates that the New Jersey Governor misstated the project's cost and New Jersey's share of the cost when he decided to shut down the project in 2010.
Losing the ARC Tunnel, which would have provided commuter rail service across the Hudson River, meant that traffic congestion would continue to go unabated. There was also a direct impact to the local economy in lost jobs. Rep. Pascrell was a leader in the House on getting federal approval for the tunnel project, as well as directing federal funds to begin the design and construction.
"The GAO's report is a cautionary tale of what can happen when major decisions are made on the basis of serving an ideology rather than transit policy," said Pascrell, a House Ways and Means Committee member who served for a decade on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. "The fact is that ARC Tunnel was designed to meet a critical need. We need to get more Americans working. Our transportation infrastructure is aging and our capacity is quickly falling behind demand. New Jersey commuters must be able to get to work in a safe, efficient manner. I know that here in Passaic and Bergen Counties, thousands of commuters deserve to have a single-seat ride to midtown Manhattan. After shutting down this project, the Governor has not told us what the alternative will be or when it will be built. Unfortunately, politics was put before progress and now we're going to be paying a bigger price in the future."