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Dec 16

ATU: Wrong to make NJ commuters pay for Gateway Tunnel

Businesses not NJ Transit commuters should shoulder the tax burden to pay for the Gateway Tunnel Program that is critical to national security and economic vitality of the region, says the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU).

“If Governor Christie hadn’t stopped this critical project eight years ago, diverting the funding for the project, the tunnel would be almost done by now,” says Ray Greaves, Chair of the ATU NJ State Council. “Now as he leaves office, Christie is taking one more shot at NJ Transit commuters with another round of huge fare increases to pay for the tunnel. This is another black mark on Christie’s already disgraceful tenure as Governor.”

ATU International President Larry Hanley says the tunnel is an issue of national defense for the region that is a prime target for terrorist attacks as evidenced by the recent failed NYC Port Authority bombing.

“If the bridge collapses it will eliminate the fastest exit westbound from Manhattan that exists,” said Hanley. “Then if the tunnel collapses with trains inside it would be a tragic catastrophe, possibly killing thousands.”

NJ commuters already pay the highest fares in the country and have already had two fare increases since 2010.

“ATU stands with commuters who have been targeted for huge fare increases for far too long,” Hanley continued. “We call on the Governor and legislators to find a way to tax the businesses who will reap the rewards of a new tunnel.”