NJ Transit, whose train service rivals those in the developing world, is threatening to cut service and raise fares 25% because the state aid spigot is (logically) being shut off.

We’ll notice the fares, we won’t notice the service cuts. (Often we get on a delayed train around the same time that the regular one should have shown up.)

But NJ Transit is not being very creative, are they?

Cut administrative posts? Not an option! Revisit union contracts? Bah. Hold off on the new tunnel? Already budgeted.

As they raise fares, I’m sure it can be modeled how many that will no longer ride the train or bus and telecommute. I know several people who would’ve commuted to NY daily now rarely go into the office. Saving even more on a monthly would be that little extra incentive.

Regardless, I think that for most industries in NYC, commutation will steadily decrease anyway.

Why?

  • Wall Street moving to Greenwich and Stamford, with Data Centers in Jersey City and elsewhere.
  • WebEx and GoToMeeting, Skype and other very inexpensive desk sharing, conferencing, virtual whiteboards and videoconferencing tools.
  • Increased work time for employers, especially outside of the 9 to 5 window.
  • Less water cooler chatter and time-wasting in the office.

By the time they build the tunnel, we won’t need it.

And I did hold out naive hope that they would implement the “one seat” program for us here in Cranford, which they inexplicably tied to the new tunnel.

Despite that selfish dream, I think they ought to kill the tunnel.

By the time the tunnel opens, NYC will become even more residential, with foreign-owned condos and twentysomething renters who will be there to answer the phones in the headquarters by day and go clubbing at night.

Advertisements