May 26, 2010
RE: Federal Transit Funding Proposal Could Ease NJ Transit Fare Increases/Service Cuts
Yesterday, in Washington, New Jersey Senators Frank R. Lautenberg and Robert Menendez joined other Democratic senators to introduce an emergency transit funding bill that would authorize $2 billion in emergency funding for transit agencies nationwide to reverse fare increases and service cuts. If enacted, the initiative could bring $125 million to NJ Transit to roll back fare increases and restore services cuts. The funds in the proposal could also be used to prevent future fare hikes and service cuts.
A 22 percent overall fare increase took effect on NJ Transit on May 1 and a 4 percent reduction in service took effect Sunday. The cuts were made to close a $300 million budget gap. Similar measures have been taken by transit systems across the country as they have grappled with the recession.
The bill would provide critical relief to New Jersey's commuters and transit riders across the country when they need it most. It would not only assist transit riders, but also reduce the pressure placed on our highways and roads. Accordingly, it has garnered support from transit advocates around the country, such as the American Public Transit Association and locally from the Tri-State Transportation Campaign.
According to Senator Lautenberg’s office, the emergency funding bill could be included in a supplemental spending bill for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Gulf of Mexico oil spill cleanup. It could be considered before the Memorial Day. It would then need action by the House, which is in recess and not scheduled to return to Washington until mid-June.
For more information, contact Jon Moran at 609-695-3481, ext. 121.
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.