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NJ TRANSIT CALLS FOR CONGRESS TO PASS LONG-TERM TRANSPORTATION FUNDING
Dedicated Federal Funding Critical for NJ Projects
April 9, 2015
NEWARK, NJ — At NJ TRANSIT’s Market Street Bus Garage in Paterson, NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Veronique “Ronnie” Hakim today joined with federal and local officials, along with business and labor leaders, to call upon Congress to pass a long-term funding bill for transportation projects as part of the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) nationwide “Stand Up for Transportation Day.”
The current federal transportation bill is set to expire on May 31, 2015. Advocates have urged Congress to enact a new multi-year authorization bill that provides dedicated monies for the Highway Trust Fund. The Fund would be used to seed not only the current federal transit program but would also account for expansion to cover additional transit and highway infrastructure needs. Without a long-term federal transportation funding bill, as well as funding at all levels of government, projects across New Jersey, including projects like the $17.5 million refurbishing of the Market Street Bus Garage, face an uncertain future.
“There are very real and damaging consequences if Congress fails to pass a long-term, federal transportation bill,” said Executive Director Hakim. “This facility, while fully funded, represents the type of initiative that would be susceptible to delay or cancellation should a long term funding agreement not be reached. Projects of this nature are a lifeline for communities and any delay in the work could have negative impacts in service to the surrounding area.”
The Market Street Garage consists of two buildings: the old trolley barn, constructed in 1903, which serves as the bus storage area and also includes the fuel lanes, bus washer, and transportation offices; and the bus maintenance bay, constructed in 1945, containing the maintenance offices, boiler plant, and bus repair and inspection areas. The total area of the facility is 102,400 sq. ft. It serves as the home base of a total of 135 NJ TRANSIT and Suburban buses serving 17 bus lines in Passaic, Morris and Bergen counties. It is staffed by 75 maintenance employees, and 280 transportation employees.
The Market Street Garage project, which includes accessibility improvements and replacement or rehabilitation of the building’s mechanical, electrical, structural, communications and security systems, is fully funded by the NJ Transportation Trust Fund (TTF). NJ TRANSIT has completed the design phase of the project and the construction is expected to be advertised for bid in the summer of 2015.
Sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), with support from national and local partners from transportation organizations, business and community-oriented interests, Stand Up for Transportation Day is uniting over 300 participating organizations in communities across the country to focus on the urgency of the passage of a long-term, federal transportation bill.
About NJ TRANSIT
NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 915,900 weekday trips on 261 bus routes, three light rail lines, 12 commuter rail lines and through Access Link paratransit service. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 165 rail stations, 62 light rail stations and more than 19,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.