After Hurricane Irma’s dissipation on September 15, 2017, the residents of Florida can now begin to assess the damage caused by the strongest hurricane making landfall since Katrina in 2005. According to early estimates, Irma has caused over 62 billion dollars in damage. However, amongst the destruction there is a silver lining; the damage caused was significantly limited by building regulations that went into effect in 2002. Homes and buildings that would have otherwise been destroyed by Hurricane Irma were able to survive, and suffered only minor damage.
New Jersey Transit, one of our nation’s busiest commuter railroads, is no stranger to service and safety issues. Once a model agency to others, it is now the U.S. leader for breakdowns, accidents, and fines. Last year the agency logged the most accidents of the nation’s 10 biggest commuter railways, including the deadly Hoboken train crash. This past March, Todd C. Barretta took the reins of New Jersey Transit’s Chief Compliance Officer—a position that had been vacant since the agency created a safety office in 2014. He lasted a mere six months before being demoted, suspended, and ultimately fired. The New Jersey Transit system is a dysfunctional runaway train that needs an overhaul of its operating system to ensure safety for passengers and employees.