There has been precious little of that so far. In fact, the bistate agency's CEO is still the same former New Jersey legislator who oversaw much of the spending spree.
The enterprise seemed limited only by the imagination of the agency's executives and their political connections, funding facilities ranging from the Camden County Boathouse to Independence Mall's President's House, and organizations ranging from the Philadelphia Orchestra to the Pro Cycling Tour. According to a damning report issued by New Jersey Comptroller Matthew Boxer's office last year, the money was spent casually and in contravention of the DRPA's own rules.
The whole economic development enterprise was at odds with a provision in the agency's governing document that such spending could take place only "after appropriate allocation for maintenance of bridge and other capital facilities," Boxer's office noted. By the DRPA's own admission, bridge and rail projects went begging even as the agency threw money at stadiums and museums.
Moreover, none of the allocations examined by the Comptroller's Office were properly documented under the agency's rules. And the office found that oversight only deteriorated over the years. By the time economic development spending finally ceased, the agency was essentially outsourcing funding decisions to the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp., a creation of the city and the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. Federal investigators are reportedly paying special attention to that spending.
Unfortunately for the region's commuters, the money is gone. Perhaps some of the people who spent it will soon follow.