Two stories about Trump’s involvement in commuter projects are in the news right now, but as far as I can see, there has been no reporting on how Trump is dead center in a huge conflict of interest between the two projects.
Commuter Project 1:
It has recently been revealed that the Trump Organization is in secret talks with the Kushner Companies to participate in Kushner’s condo development in Long Branch, New Jersey. Kushner (and Trump if he also becomes involved) stand to profit enormously if a proposed pier and ferry terminal are built next to his properties. The Long Branch ferry will transport commuters between New Jersey and Manhattan. The planning for the pier and terminal has been paid for by the Federal Transit Administration and, if the project is built, it will be funded by “public and government funds.”
Commuter Project 2:
At the same time Trump’s organization is taking secret steps to profit from a ferry between New Jersey and Manhattan, he is also doing his best to block the “Gateway Program” – a federally funded project to upgrade the primary commuter train corridor between New Jersey and Manhattan.
These two commuter projects are in direct competition for funding and passenger dollars. If Trump manages to block the NJ-Manhattan rail improvements, the NJ-Manhattan ferry project will become much more attractive to investors and commuters, making it far more likely the project will be built. And when the project is completed, Trump and Kushner will reap big profits because the pier and ferry will greatly enhance the value of Kushner’s properties. This is a flagrant conflict of interest that I’m hoping some intrepid investigative reporters will dig into.
Commuter Project 1 Background:
Although the above article mentions the conflict of interest inherent in Trump and Kushner doing private business with each other at the same time they are serving together in the White House, it does not mention what I feel is a much bigger conflict of interest between this commuter project and the one discussed in the article below.
Commuter Project 2 Background:
This article does not mention the fact that Trump’s organization is in secret talks to strike a business deal that will profit from the building of a competing commuter project (the Long Branch ferry). I hope the media puts Commuter Project 1 and Commuter Project 2 together soon!
For more details on these projects, you can click on links in the above articles that reference reporting from The New York Times and Washington Post.