Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Bumbling Biden Thinks Amtrak Tunnel Is For Cars: 'It’s Going To Be Hard To Get Those Cars Up 180 Feet of Escalators'

Is there anyone in the Obama administration who can help this guy out before he faces the television cameras? Granted, his boss isn't so smooth without his trusty TOTUS, but with Biden the gaffes just keep coming. Here's another doozy.
That new tunnel? The one NJ Transit has been touting for years? That the Federal Transit Administration made a huge commitment to on Monday?

It’s for cars.

Or so Vice President Biden apparently thinks.

Biden had just finished telling reporters on a conference call Monday that federal stimulus money might have gone out slower in the past few months than some people liked because, “We don’t end up with any major glitches.”

Then The Record had a chance to ask about an environmental group’s complaint that Amtrak would not be able to use the new Hudson River tunnel – which is benefitting from a provision of the stimulus bill increasing the Federal Transit Administration’s debt limit -- because it doesn’t go to Penn Station.

Biden said Amtrak was getting its share of stimulus money and more projects would be announced in a few days. Then he offered this:

“Look, this is designed, this totally new tunnel, is designed to provide for automobile traffic,” Biden said. “It’s something, as you know, up your way, that’s been in the works and people have been clamoring for for a long time.”

For the record, the tunnel is for trains, and its completion would allow for more NJ Transit trains during peak hours and “one-seat” rides into Midtown Manhattan on lines serving Bergen and Passaic counties. Currently riders on those lines must switch trains.
Even the normally dour and humorless Sierra Club spokesthingy is laughing at Biden.
“It’s going to be hard to get those cars up 180 feet of escalators,” Tittel said.

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