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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

Oct 17, 2013
I am relieved that Congress has finally broken through the gridlock that initiated the government shutdown. Although 16 days is far too long for this stalemate to have occurred, thousands of American families woke up today knowing that not only can they pay their bills, but the United States of America can continue paying its bills.
Oct 11, 2013
Today is the 11th day that the United States government is shutdown. Discussions in Congress continue, but uncertainty remains all too real for American families across the nation.
Oct 11, 2013
(Washington, D.C.)- Congressman Albio Sires joined his colleagues at the final hearing conducted by the specially appointed “Panel on 21st Century Freight Transportation.”
Sep 20, 2013
Congress remains focused on domestic issues that are affecting the economy and the well-being of our nation such as food assistance programs and water resources. The House of Representatives just passed H.R. 3102, the “Nutrition Reform Opportunity Act”. I voted against this misguided legislation which strips food stamp aid from millions of Americans with hundreds of thousands more seeing reductions in their already limited benefits. Food aid programs ensure that America’s working families receive basic nutritional aid when they’ve fallen on hard times. It is disappointing that the House Majority is, once again, attempting to balance our budget on the backs of those who are most vulnerable while so many Americans are still struggling through the economic recovery.
Sep 19, 2013
Washington, D.C - Today, Congressman Sires proudly supported H.R. 3080, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act, which passed unanimously out of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. This bipartisan legislation reauthorizes the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA)—legislation responsible for authorizing the water resources program of the Army Corps of Engineers—for the first time since 2007.
Sep 13, 2013

Congress has faced critical policy dilemmas all year long including rising student loan interest rates, budget battles, and immigration reform, among other issues. Most recently, Congress has been charged with the difficult task of responding to the President’s proposal for military action in Syria. As Congress continues to examine and debate the next step for the United States, it is important not to lose focus on the issues at home.  

Sep 12, 2013
(Washington, D.C.) –Congressman Albio Sires met with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Administrator Anne S. Ferro to discuss issues related to a recent bus crash in West New York, which resulted in the death of an 8-month-old girl. The FMCSA is the federal agency tasked with regulating commercial motor vehicles, including commuter busses.
Aug 30, 2013
This week, I had my yearly meeting with members of United Parcel Service (UPS) to discuss their operations, address any concerns they may have, and consider upcoming legislation. This year, we discussed the highways and transit bill, MAP-21, and how it could help facilitate UPS operations. Additionally, we discussed new health care mandates of the Affordable Care Act and how they may impact UPS employees.
Aug 29, 2013
Moonachie, N.J. – U.S. Senator Robert Menendez and U.S. Congressman Albio Sires (both D-NJ) expressed their appreciation to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Eastern Regional Administrator Carmine Gallo for keeping his commitment to hold a symposium on the impact of tourist helicopters this week, but urged federal authorities to take action to uphold the safety and quality of life of residents in New Jersey's Hudson River waterfront communities.
Aug 9, 2013
Last Tuesday, July 30th, 8-month-year-old Angelie Paredes was the victim of a senseless tragedy involving an Omni bus (jitney bus). My deepest condolences to the Paredes family during this extremely difficult time.

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