Post-Sandy Costs Continue to Rise for New Jersey Transit

April 12, 2013

The costs continue to mount for New Jersey Transit in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

At its monthly board meeting Wednesday, the agency approved paying another $28 million to a Canadian company to repair locomotives damaged when the rail yard where they were housed was flooded in late October.

NJ Transit’s board also approved paying another $8.5 million to several engineering and consulting companies already engaged in post-Sandy projects.

The agency has estimated it suffered about $450 million in damages from the storm, about $100 million of which was sustained by rail cars and locomotives.

NJ Transit signed a five-year, $71 million deal in 2008 with Montreal-based Bombardier, the manufacturer of the locomotives. The additional $28 million approved Wednesday would span three years and cover the cost of parts, supplies and engineering support to repair nine of the dual power locomotives damaged by the storm.

Another 14 locomotives have been repaired and are back in service. Eleven others were on NJ Transit property when the storm hit, but ownership had not been transferred from Bombardier to NJ Transit yet. Repairing them is Bombardier’s responsibility, an NJ Transit spokesman said.

The agency says it expects insurance and federal funds to cover most of the recovery and repair costs.

Riders won’t pay the freight, at least for now: At a state Senate budget hearing last week in Trenton, NJ Transit executive director James Weinstein said fares won’t rise in the coming year. That marks the fourth straight year that fares have remained flat.

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