RUTHERFORD – Governor Phil Murphy today cautioned that the Legislature’s recently passed budget may impact the long-term viability of key infrastructure investments intended to turnaround NJ TRANSIT.
"Five days ago, the Legislature sent to my desk a budget that would make the strong initial investment we need in NJ Transit to help the thousands of commuters here in Rutherford, and the nearly one million more across our state, who rely daily on safe and reliable mass transit," said Governor Murphy. "But, there’s a problem with what they sent me – it’s nearly $1 billion short of where we need to be to have a responsible budget."
The Legislature’s budget will be $855 million short of achieving the administration’s target ending fund balance and would end with a $104 million deficit and no dollars in surplus, zeroing out the administration’s proposed $751 million surplus. The Legislative budget also proposes $75 million in cuts that put much needed infrastructure improvements at risk and may accelerate the need for an increase in the gas tax and raise tolls.
Governor Murphy’s proposed budget invests $242 million in NJ TRANSIT through sustainable and permanent sources – nearly tripling state funding as an initial step to improving the state’s mass transit system after 90 percent defunding under former Governor Christie.
These investments include, but are not limited to replacement of non-recurring funding and “one-shots;” workforce expansion; bus and rail service expansion into/from New York and the Meadowlands station; correcting the structural passenger revenue shortfall; and other bus and rail needs that will enhance scheduling, provide timely media updates and communication with the public, and improve service reliability.
"Turning NJ Transit around is going to require long-term, sustained, and reliable new revenues to make these necessary investments,” added Governor Murphy. “We can get this done, but only if we are not afraid to put the long-term needs of riders and residents before the short-term wants of Trenton’s insider politics. I am more than ready to do this.”