You may remember that Chris Christie — our most favoritest governor of New Jersey — ripped the beating heart out of a N.Y.C.-Jersey transit project that public officials had only been planning for since, oh, 1995. At the time, he said the project would cost New Jersey too much. But guess what? He lied about the costs, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
The GAO called Christie out on making up his “facts.” Christie said state transportation officials had revised project costs upwards to more than $14 billion. But nope, their estimates were under $10 billion, just like they always had been. He also said New Jersey would shoulder 70 percent of costs. The actual number? 14.4 percent. And Christie also claimed his state would have to pay for 100 percent of cost overruns. The actual deal hadn’t been closed yet, and the federal government had made offers to take on some of the costs.
The charitable explanation: Chris Christie needs remedial math lessons. The more likely explanation: The guv lied through his teeth in order to scratch a perfectly good public transit project for ideological reasons.
Tens of thousands of human beings cross the Hudson River every day using public transit. Demand for that trip is supposed to grow by more than a third in the next 20 years. And the congestion doesn’t just affect commuters leaving N.Y.C. for Jersey every day; as the New York Times points out, this is going to make the life of anyone who ever takes an Amtrak Northeast Corridor train more hellish.
Now, Amtrak and New Jersey trains share two 100-year-old single-track tunnels under the Hudson. As the report notes, those tracks now operate at capacity.
So any time your train to Boston/D.C./Philadelphia is delayed in the next two decades, feel free to curse Chris Christie.
Report Disputes Christie's Basis for Halting Tunnel, The New York Times.