NEWARK, N.J. – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez, ranking member of the Senate’s mass transit subcommittee, and Cory Booker (both D-.N.J.) and Congressmen Albio Sires (N.J.-08), Donald Payne, Jr. (N.J.-10) and Tom Malinowski (N.J.-11), all members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, today announced the awarding of $1,758,430,844 from the Federal Transit Agency (FTA) to help NJ Transit continue operations despite a significant drop-off in ridership and revenue as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This transit funding was part of the $2 trillion emergency stimulus package Congress passed last week.
“The coronavirus pandemic has touched nearly every aspect of New Jerseyans lives, from our health to our jobs to the ways we move around,” said Sen. Booker. “New Jersey Transit is a vital means of transportation for countless New Jerseyans and an economic driver for our state, however its ability to serve our residents both now and into the future has been threatened by this crisis. We’re proud to have negotiated more than $1.7 billion in federal funding to help ensure NJ Transit can continue serving commuters for years to come.”
“I’m proud to have fought for this vital funding that will keep our transit agencies, which are critical to our nations’ economy, up and running during and after the pandemic,” said Sen. Menendez. “I commend the essential employees at these agencies that have kept our transit system moving to ensure doctors, nurses, members of law enforcement, and other essential workers can continue their work combatting COVID-19. I will continue fighting for the federal resources New Jersey needs to recover from the outbreak.”
“I am pleased that New Jersey is receiving $1.758 billion in public transit assistance grants, which will help New Jersey Transit continue financing operations as Americans wisely choose to stay home for now to fight the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Rep. Sires. “This grant money will help NJ Transit keep their people on payroll, maintain ongoing transit operations that serve COVID-19 response operations, and keep the engine warm for when Americans are ready to go back to work”
“I was extremely excited to hear New Jersey will receive roughly $1.8 billion to meet state infrastructure needs,” said Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. “The New Jersey Transit provides thousands of jobs to local workers and helps hundreds of thousands of residents get to work. We cannot afford to risk the health and safety of future commuters because we failed to maintain our infrastructure during this global health and economic crisis.”
“New Jersey Transit is indispensable to our state’s economy,” said Rep. Malinowski. “We fought hard to provide the resources it needs to keep our trains moving and workers paid through this crisis.”
NJ Transit experienced a steep decline in ridership after social distancing and work-from-home orders were announced. While this resulted in service reductions, federal funding was needed to make up for major losses in revenue and keep the buses, trains and light rail running. NJ Transit can use this funding to help pay for both operating and capital expenses incurred since Jan. 20, as well as administrative leave for personnel due to the reduced operations.
Earlier today, Sens. Booker and Menendez announced the first wave of funding for New Jersey, over $82 million in U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grants to help communities on the frontlines continue to provide residents essential service.