Feb
15

Great moments in New Jersey Transit: Super Bowl XLVII

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Come next February, New Jersey Transit will be in charge of taking tens of thousands of Super Bowl-bound riders to and from the Meadowlands, and to that end, someone decided to go on a scouting trip to New Orleans a few weeks ago. It was, unsurprisingly, a trip not without controversy. As The Record reported today, three New Jersey Transit officials managed to spend $14,000 on a four-night trip, including nearly $8000 on lodging and over $5000 for airfare. I realize Super Bowl week in the Big Easy is expensive, but that is one hefty bill for taxpayers to stomach.

To make matters worse, one of the men on the trip was Joseph Meade III, the superintendent of the Hoboken rail yards who was one of the people in charge during New Jersey Transit’s disastrous non-response to Superstorm Sandy. Meade has come under fire from New Jersey politicians for his role in the storm planning, and this latest development won’t make matters better.

Now, on the one hand, it is important for New Jersey Transit officials to prepare for next year’s Super Bowl and the related festivities, but on the other hand, a $14,000 four-night trip seems particularly egregious. It’s worth noting, as well, that everyone involved in NJ Transit operations during Sandy is still employed by the agency. What a mess.



11 Responses to “Great moments in New Jersey Transit: Super Bowl XLVII”

  1. MH says:

    Must of been first class flights with 5 star hotels and non stop room service for their trip …wonder what notes were taken over that weekend, it remains to be seen.

  2. Someone says:

    I spy corruption and money laundering.

  3. Andy K says:

    Given recent history (like at least the last 13 years) people in govt. jobs rarely get fired for bad decisions, poor judgement, or lack of leadership.

  4. John-2 says:

    When any of them were in New Orleans, did they talk to Ray Nagain about the virtues of waterlogged buses versus flooded rail cars?

  5. Josh says:

    In the scope of government waste, seems like $14,000 is small potatoes, no? It’s an expensive weekend, sure, but if you want to get firsthand knowledge about transporting Super Bowl crowds, you can’t travel to New Orleans on any random weekend in November. And honestly, I would guess that this might very well be the going rate during Super Bowl weekend.

  6. Frank B says:

    And they complained when Walder went on vacation…

  7. Mark says:

    Super bowl plane tickets from NYC were less than a $1000 coach. I checked, before the Broncos were knocked out. If you flew back Tuesday or Wednesday… dropped significantly. Hotels… I can’t imagine more than $500. This is ridiculous. These guys handle more people on a daily basis than New Orleans did on the Super Bowl. Fire them all. Nepotism at its finest.

  8. shawn says:

    I’ve been to two super bowls. this bill does not shock me one bit. the room I stayed in in Dallas was normally a 250 a night room. For the week of the super bowl it was jacked up to 1,200 a night.

    I would imagine they stayed at the league’s hotel, and I also imagine they can’t comp the hotel room because of some idiotic improper benefit law… So yea, I’m not shocked one bit. The only thing that is semi surprising is the airfare… The hotel costs seem about normal. Obscene, but normal for the event.

  9. Clarke says:

    At the rough rates presented here:

    3 roundtrip flights: $1000 x 3 = $3000 (given rate: $5000)
    3 hotel rooms at $500/night for 4 nights: $500 x 4 x 3 = 4500 (given rate for lodging’ [may include food?]: $8000)

    Probably not far from reality. Yes, the three could have shared a hotel room. Yes, they could have chartered a private jet.

  10. TP says:

    Not sure how analogous the Superdome and New Orleans are to the Meadowlands with regard to transit. They’ve about as different as you can get. The Superdome is in the middle of the city and New Orleans is very walkable for a Southern city. While New Orleans has a bus system they do a good job of making sure tourists never use it. The streetcars are slow, inefficient, and unreliable, but everybody takes that in stride. It’s part of the charm. You don’t care that you’re moving at 2mph ’cause, well look at that charming mansion? Meadowlands stadium is a completely unwalkable ugly area isolated from civilization but in proximity to the biggest city in the country. NJTransit will be tasked at moving thousands of people between NYC, the Meadowlands, and elsewhere in NJ. I’d be interested in what lessons they took home from NOLA.

  11. LLQBTT says:

    Many organizations have a travel policy that stipulates what is and is not acceptable. This trip has all the hallmarks of a financial services back in the back masters of the universe type of excursion.

    There is graft and corruption everywhere, but NJ just seems to have it in droves.

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