Where the Money Goes

16 05 2007

PATH

By Derek Beres

I find little irony in the fact that as I stepped off the PATH train at Grove St an hour ago to come home to write this particular blog, I ran into the first wave of newly-hired employees of the NJ/NY Port Authority: the National Guard. Two stocky camouflaged men with machine guns and a large German shepherd were nearly blocking the entrance to the stairs as I ascended upwards. Two local cops – and two more upstairs – completed the scene.

As part of a new program, roughly forty National Guard members will be patrolling the PATH station daily, beefing up an already super-sized policing presence. It will cost the state $200,000 a month, or $2.4 million annually, to add on top of 1,600 Port Authority police officers. But my favorite part, from the NY Times article: “The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said the measure, which will cost about $200,000 a month, is not a reaction to any specific threat, but fulfills a promise of renewed cooperation on security discussed by Gov. Eliot Spitzer of New York and Gov. Jon S. Corzine of New Jersey in January.”

Wonderful. Instead of using money to make improvements to the actual service, which are sorely needed, they’ll take the surplus capital (it is the most used system in the entire NJ public transportation system, with sixty-seven million riders in 2006) to fulfill some political verbiage they slung a few years ago to slither into office. As a PATH rider for over eight years, I’ve watched rate increases with little to no improvements, and the insistent – and growing – police patrols. The trains run to Hoboken all weekend and every weeknight, which is laughable considering Jersey City is a dozen times larger and has four stops, subjected to the reduced schedule to cater to one more economically prosperous township.

Perhaps Jersey City will never live down its image of having housed a few of the members of the 9/11 incident. It is one of the most racially diverse cities in the East, although as the condos move in – a projected 50,000-65,000 more by 2020 – the area is losing its flavor. I find it not ironic at all that, as Trump and other developers move in, security is being beefed up; they want to give the appearance of security. And yet JC has always been a secure town. It’s the people strong-arming their way in with billion-dollar housing developments and politicians seeking resume fodder that I’m worried about.

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5 responses

17 05 2007
eno

Those cops are so a part of my consciousness that I forgot to blog about them!

Since I use the path to the WTC all the time, I’m used to the cops, who mull about there like a third attempt will be made on the building.

They are incredibly useless, considering that they only pick random people out for inspection, and let thousands walk by without getting even a look.

Amen on the lack of improvements, and the ridiculous schedule that shows so much preference to Hoboken. Maybe because I live in Historic Downtown/Van Vorst, I rail against the (maybe inevitable) homogenization of the area. And part of my wants the added retail that the developments will bring. Yes, I know I’m selfish.

18 05 2007
Billy Meltdown » Heart of Gold, Jacket of Camo?

[…] via New York’s Sixth, a (deserving) rant from a PATH commuter in JC: I find little irony in the fact that as I stepped off the PATH train at Grove St an hour ago to […]

19 05 2007
APH

I take the PATH every day from Exchange Place to WTC. Even the appearance of security is such a joke, why do they even bother? During the morning rush, they’ll have a few PA cops bullshitting around while doing half-assed searches of backpacks over a fold-out table. Mind you, they only do this on one side (one set of doors for entrance) – so if you really wanted NOT to get “caught” you could just walk 25 feet to another set of doors. I have a pretty casual work situation and used to bring a backpack. Since that was one of the red-flags that warranted a random search, I would get “searched” as many as 2-3 times a week, often by the same cops. Ridiculous.

29 10 2008
metetrietle

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26 05 2011
Marlon Barthell

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