Capital investments, staffing get boost in New Jersey transit system

(The Center Square) – Directors for the board of the New Jersey transit system are pushing $2.64 billion into the coming year’s capital investments, and $10.1 million into additional operational staffing.

The capital funding is an increase of $1.045 billion over last year. It is created by $814 million from the New Jersey Debt Defeasance and Prevention Fund; $191 million, Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act; and $40 million, State Fiscal Recovery Fund.

The base plan for capital investments gets $760 million from the state Transportation Trust Fund; $600 million, Federal Transit Administration; $100 million, Federal Transit Administration Capital Investment Grants program; and $75 million, Federal Highway Administration.

The capital projects include two over a five-year span.

About $814 million from the fund for debt defeasance and prevention enables upgrades at major terminals. Specifically, that’s $250 million, Walter Rand Transportation Center; $191 million, Newark Penn Station; $176 million, Hoboken Terminal; $49 million, New Brunswick Station; $48 million, Bloomfield Station; $33 million, Brick Church Station; and $27 million, Roselle Park Station.

The FY2023 budget, adopted Wednesday, additionally puts investments into personnel, infrastructure and equipment. The operating budget, outside of the capital investments, is $2.75 billion.

There are no fare increases for a system that says it provides “925,000 weekday trips on 253 bus routes, three light rail lines, 12 commuter rail lines and through Access Link paratransit service.” With 166 rail stations, 62 light rail stations and more than 19,000 bus stops throughout New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia, it is the nation’s third-largest transit system, a release says.

The budget also allocates $1 million for additional police positions.

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