Governor Murphy Highlights NJ TRANSIT Investments in Safety, Reliability
Office of the Gov reports 03/19/2019
MAPLEWOOD — Governor Phil Murphy today toured NJ TRANSIT’s Emergency Operations Center with transit officials to highlight NJ TRANSIT investments in his budget proposal that will restore safety and service at the agency. Governor Murphy’s previous budget increased investment in NJ TRANSIT by $167 million, a 118 percent increase from the previous administration’s last year.
“The investments we have made over the past 14 months have started us down the long road toward restoring NJ TRANSIT to its former preeminence,” said Governor Murphy. “We thank the men and women who work behind the scenes at the Emergency Operations Center, and on the frontlines along our bus and rail network, for helping us move our residents and commuters throughout the state safely and reliably.”
“Emergency Operations Centers such as the ones at NJ TRANSIT, NJDOT and the toll road authorities are a critical element in managing New Jersey’s transportation network,” said New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti.
“The Emergency Operations Center has been an integral part of implementing the Governor’s commitment to a better transit system and improving communications,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Kevin Corbett. “From a centralized location, we can monitor the entire bus, rail, and light rail network statewide during planned and unplanned events to provide better and more timely information to our customers through alerts, push notifications, and social media interaction.”
Governor Murphy’s FY2020 budget seeks to build on progress made at NJ TRANSIT over the past 14 months through a commitment to adequate funding and oversight. Under the proposed budget, the agency stands to receive a $100 million General Fund increase over FY2019, bringing the total to $407 million in General Fund support. Of this, $75 million will replace diversions from other sources and $25 million represents new direct funding. This historic investment will further rectify the chronic underfunding of the past decade to make public transit reliable for commuters. By contrast, over the course of the Christie administration, NJ TRANSIT’s budget was cut by over 90 percent, falling to $33 million in FY2016. Governor Murphy has also committed to sparing NJ TRANSIT customers from fare hikes in FY2020 if his budget is passed.
Specifically, the Administration is seeking to eliminate diversions that were included in the final FY2019 budget. The Administration will reduce the transfer of Turnpike funds by $25 million, from $154 million to $129 million, which matches the Governor’s original FY2019 budget proposal. The Administration also proposes to eliminate a $50 million diversion from the Transportation Trust Fund’s capital reserve account. As part of a focus on responsible budgeting and fiscal prudence, the Governor’s commitment to ending these funding diversions represents a significant shift from past practices.