Assembly Deputy Speaker John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), chairman of the Assembly transportation committee, released the following statement Monday after the panel heard testimony on the mass transit problems surrounding the Super Bowl:
“Today’s hearing was productive, but incomplete without the National Football League and NJ Transit.
“What we heard showed planning that fell far short, especially when it came to an overreliance on expensive bus options that fans were unlikely to use. Restricting other transit options and failing to plan for workable backup alternatives also proved questionable.
"The end result, I fear, is New Jersey shot itself in the foot.
“People may be discouraged to take mass transit to the Meadowlands from this point forward, especially during big events. That is obviously the wrong direction for our state and very unfortunate.
“The NFL took its pile of Super Bowl money and left, leaving local officials here in New Jersey to try to clean up afterwards.
"NJ Transit meanwhile has not had a good couple of years and needs to do better - and do so quickly.
"I expect NJ Transit to fulfill its promise to testify once its internal report is completed, and the NFL still owes fans an explanation.
“At the very least, the NFL should listen more to the concerns of local officials should it bring the game back to New Jersey. Events like the Super Bowl should be a positive for our state, and the host has an obligation to ensure that happens."