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Congestion Buster Task Force


Interim Summary Report


Congestion Buster Task Force mandated by the Congestion Relief and Trust Fund Renewal Act signed into law July 2000.

Consists of 22 members representing the Department of Transportation, New Jersey Transit, business organizations, Transportation Management Associations, metropolitan planning organizations, transportation advocacy groups and the public.

Primary Goals of the Task Force are to develop a commuter options plan resulting in peak hour trips being "capped" at 1999 levels and identify ten projects which can be quickly implemented to relieve congestion or improve safety.

Work Completed to Date

The first Task Force meeting was held June 2001; the group has met six times through the month of December. Presentations have assisted the Task Force in defining congestion, understanding supply and demand-side issues; identifying commuter incentives and disincentives to reduce Single Occupancy Vehicle trips; and competing congestion issues such as goods movement, Port access and people movement. Established website for public to e-mail their comments.

Next Steps

Sub-committees are to develop draft recommendations of potential solutions in the following categories:
  • Congestion
  • Demand Management
  • Transit/Passenger Rail
  • Goods Movement
  • Traffic Management
  • Land Use & Growth Management
  • Legislative
  • Marketing & Public Education
The recommendations will identify how the solution will reduce congestion; who does it affect; its cost and cost savings in other areas; implementation ideas and whether legislation is required.

Major areas of recommendations

The Task Force has identified major areas to focus recommendations.
  1. Transit capital needed to match its capacity issues

    Without needed capacity to keep up with existing overcrowding, and to provide new capacity, it is impossible to provide an attractive choice for commuters who could make public transit their choice. Is public transit a choice for people who travel within New Jersey (rather than to NYC), and do employers and employees know enough about public transit?

  2. Land use & transportation planning

    The Long Range Transportation Plan (20 years) and the State Plan have done analysis that show that decision making which considers land use decisions and regional planning issues in concert with each other, can reduce travel. A project to coordinate regional decision-making is needed.

  3. Strengthen role of TMAs with employers to encourage ridsesharing, commute options and provide links where transit does not go.

    Support for Transportation Management Associations (TMAs) to assist employers, increase incentives and disincentives, understand pricing and provide cross-employer car pooling commute options where public transit doesn't work, is needed.

  4. Telecommuting, and alternate work programs such as Flex-time

    Being flexible with work start and stop times, increasing alternative work week strategies that can reduce, or entirely remove a day of work trips for everyone is a strategy that will reduce trips. What are the strategies that work best for different businesses and industries? We need to find the private sector solutions that are working, document them and help to invest in the new "work place" options.

  5. Educate the public and employers about transit choices and availability

  6. Peak hour drivers - who shouldn't be driving; students, discretionary trips

  7. Goods movement, variable pricing, traffic management

Final Report

Expected to be delivered July 1, 2002

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  Last Updated:  February 22, 2008