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Congressman Albio Sires

Representing the 8th District of New Jersey

Transportation

Transportation touches every facet of our lives. If any part of the transportation system breaks down, we feel the impact immediately. Investment in our transportation modes is vital to enhancing our economy, increasing our safety, maintaining our global competitiveness, and most importantly improving our quality of life. Through my work on the House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I am actively working on transportation issues that are important to the 8th District.     

Surface Transportation Bill

On December 3, 2015, I joined my colleagues in the House in passing legislation to authorize surface transportation programs that was signed into law by President Obama on December 4, 2015. The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act authorizes $305 billion over fiscal years 2016 through 2020 for highway, highway and motor vehicle safety, public transportation, motor carrier safety, hazardous materials safety, rail, and research, technology, and statistics programs.

Freight and Moving Goods

New Jersey’s economy depends largely on our ability to effectively and efficiently move goods.  More than 269,000, or approximately 1 in 8, jobs in the state are directly affected by the goods movement industry, which includes the shipping of everything from food and clothing to cars and industrial supplies.  More efficient goods movement enhances our ability to move on the roads, decreases harmful environmental effects, and minimizes damage to our infrastructure.

The Department of Transportation estimates that freight tons transported are expected to double by 2035, and this increase will lead to increased congestion on our nation’s already overburdened highways, railways, airports, and ports.

The FAST Act included an average $1.2 billion per year for a new National Highway Freight Program and established a discretionary competitive grant program of $4.5 billion over five years to provide financial assistance to nationally and regionally significant highway, rail, port, and intermodal freight and highway projects. As New Jersey’s freight capabilities continue to expand with projects like the deepening of the Port of New York and New Jersey and the raising of the Bayonne Bridge, I will continue to advocate for dedicated funding streams to assist large multimodal freight projects.

Aviation

The aviation industry is a crucial sector of the United States economy. Commercial aviation is responsible for roughly five percent of our gross domestic product and contributes roughly eleven million American jobs to our economy.

The 8th District of New Jersey is home to part of Newark Liberty International Airport, the nation’s oldest airfield and home to the nation’s first commercial airline terminal. The airport employs 20,000 people and contributes around $22.9 billion in economic activity to the New Jersey- New York region.

It is important that the concerns of pilots, airport employees, and passengers are addressed in aviation legislation. As Congress considers the reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration in the 115th Congress, I will work with my colleagues on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to ensure that the concerns of the people of New Jersey are heard.

Gateway                                                                                                                          

New Jersey is located on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor (NEC), the nation’s busiest rail line that connects Washington, D.C. to Boston, Massachusetts. The NEC is at or near capacity at many locations, and much of its infrastructure is outdated and in need of upgrades. The only intercity passenger rail crossing that connects New Jersey to Manhattan is over 100 years old and operates at 95 percent capacity at rush hour which creates a bottleneck that limits train volume across the whole NEC.

The Gateway Program is a comprehensive package of strategic investments on the NEC to improve current Amtrak service and allow for greater passenger capacity. Gateway will increase track, tunnel, bridge, and station capacity, and eventually create four mainline tracks between Newark, New Jersey, and Penn Station, New York. The target completion is 2030. Many residents of the 8th District rely on Amtrak for passenger rail and will benefit from improving the NEC. As a Member of the House Subcommittee on Railroads and Pipelines, I will monitor this project as it moves forward.

More on Transportation

Apr 26, 2013
The last week of April was a busy time in Congress. For the majority of the week, I focused my work on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. I heard from a variety of stakeholders on how to improve our infrastructure in the 21st Century and create jobs. To learn more about my work this week on transportation, and other priorities, including foreign affairs, I invite you to continue reading my Washington Review.
Apr 26, 2013
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Congressman Albio Sires joined his colleagues in passing legislation by a vote of 361 to 41 that will make available up to $253 million in order to prevent additional furloughs of air traffic controllers. Earlier this year, devastating across-the-board cuts from the so-called budget sequestration were triggered as a result of House Republicans’ unwillingness to negotiate over a government spending package.
Apr 24, 2013
(Washington, D.C.)- Today, Congressman Albio Sires joined his colleagues at the first hearing conducted by the newly created “Panel on 21st Century Freight Transportation.” This bipartisan committee will meet over a period of six months, and is charged with examining the current role freight transportation plays in the U.S. economy and how the federal government can work to increase the efficiency, safety, and security of our Nation’s freight network.
Apr 17, 2013
(Washington D.C.)- Congressman Sires was selected by leaders of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to join 10 of his colleagues for a special subcommittee charged with identifying ways to improve our nation’s freight transportation systems.
Apr 10, 2013
At today’s press conference, House Democrats highlighted how the plan will revitalize American industry and innovation, create jobs, and grow our economy by making progress in four key areas: developing a national manufacturing strategy, increasing manufacturing exports, encouraging businesses to bring innovation and jobs back home, and investing in training and securing the skilled workforce needed to support manufacturing in the twenty-first century.
Mar 5, 2013
With an estimated $10.3 trillion worth of goods using multiple modes of transportation each year, it is critical that Congress plan for the efficient movement of freight across all modes of transportation. The MOVE Freight Act will expand the definition of the national freight network to include rail, navigable waterways, inland ports, seaports, freight intermodal connectors, airports, and aerotropolis transportation systems, helping to establish a truly modern freight policy and ensuring U.S. global competitiveness.
Feb 14, 2013
Chairman Shuster and Ranking Member Rahall, thank you for holding this timely hearing. Taking this opportunity to look broadly at the Federal Government’s role in America’s transportation infrastructure sets a positive tone for the work we need to accomplish over the next two years, and I thank you for that. I want to also thank our panelists for attending today’s hearing.
Feb 14, 2013
(Newark, NJ) –Today, Congressman Sires released the following testimony regarding the Bayonne Bridge Raise the Roadway Project. On February 5, 2013, this testimony was presented at a public meeting held at the Bayonne High School Auditorium.
Dec 6, 2012
Washington, D.C.-- Today, Congressman Sires announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration is awarding the state of New Jersey yet another $10 million dollars in emergency relief funding to reconstruct highways and roads that were impacted by Hurricane Sandy, which reached New Jersey on October 29, 2012. Sires stated:
Jun 29, 2012
Washington, D.C.-- Today, Congressman Sires joined his colleagues in the House of Representatives in passing H.R. 4348, the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012 by a vote of 373-52. This legislation authorizes highway and transit programs at current levels through September 2014.

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