Commissioner Weinstein Tours
Secaucus Transfer Station Stressing
Importance of Renewing Transportation Funding
Transportation Commissioner James Weinstein today toured NJ TRANSIT's Secaucus Transfer Station project in Hudson County to highlight the need for new dedicated sources of funding for the state's Transportation Trust Fund.
Although the $450 million construction project is fully funded by a grant from the Federal Transit Administration, the state's Transportation Trust Fund is contributing $16.5 million for design work, additional construction and a high-density signal system, said Commissioner Weinstein, who also chairs NJ TRANSIT's Board of Directors.
"While the vast majority of this project is being paid for with federal dollars, we leverage our ability to secure federal funding and advance transit and highway projects all over New Jersey with a strong state spending program," Commissioner Weinstein noted.
The Secaucus Transfer Station will link all rail lines in northern New Jersey and parts of New York State when it opens in 2002. Commuters using the Main-Bergen, Pascack Valley and Port Jervis lines will be able to transfer to trains bound for stops in other parts of New Jersey and midtown Manhattan. In addition, commuters using the Northeast Corridor, North Jersey Coast and Raritan Valley lines will be afforded new ways to travel to northern New Jersey.
"We are fortunate to enjoy a robust economy that can allow us to program state funding for transportation projects over the next four years without an increase in state taxes," Commissioner Weinstein said. "Since our transportation needs for the next four years far outweigh our resources we need additional dedicated sources of revenue to continue to build upon the past achievements of the Transportation Trust Fund."
On the November ballot is a question asking the public to authorize the dedication of revenue from the existing sales tax and gross receipts on the sale of petroleum products. If authorized, the Transportation Trust Fund will stand to gain $1.12 billion in new dedicated sources of revenue over the current fiscal year and next three fiscal years.
"New Jersey is perhaps the most transportation dependent state in the nation, so it is fitting that under Governor Whitman's leadership we continue to make great strides in renewing and improving upon our diverse transportation system needs now and in the future," Commissioner Weinstein said.
"Over the next four fiscal years we plan to spend $3.75 billion in state funds for highways bridges, rail and bus improvements, local transportation needs, airports, goods movement, bicycle and pedestrian projects, transportation enhancements, and transportation and economic development projects," the Commissioner said.
"New Jersey is the nation's most densely populated state with one of the most heavily used transportation systems. We need more investment -- not less -- to continue to improve our quality of life and stay economically competitive," Weinstein added.