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Transportation

The transportation infrastructure networks that serve our country are having a hard time keeping up with service demands. More people are driving or using public transportation, but states have less money to repair and upgrade this infrastructure. Our congressional district is not an exception and we have all struggled with old bridges, late trains, and potholed roads.

As a member of the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure, I have worked to authorize programs that allow New Jersey to tap into federal money for infrastructure projects. The federal government has a responsibility to help states that need assistance financing upgrades, and I continuously work to increase funding for grant programs that cities can use to finance big infrastructure upgrades projects.

Federal Work

The federal government has an important role in helping states finance big transportation projects that benefit large swaths of the country through the movements of goods and people. There are many projects around the country – bridge upgrades, commuter rail maintenance, and road repair – which cannot be finished without a helping hand from Congress.

This Congress, I introduced:

  • H.R. 543, a bill which requires the Federal Railroad Administration to inform Members of Congress when it is conducting a safety audit of a railroad within a Member’s district. This bill was passed the House of Representatives unanimously on February 6, 2019 and now awaits consideration in the Senate.

I have co-sponsored numerous infrastructure bills including:

  • H.R. 180, the Build America Act of 2019, directing the Department of Transportation to carry out a national infrastructure investment grant program for big investments in transportation infrastructure.
  • H.R. 1428, the Transportation Infrastructure for Job Creation Act, providing an additional $7.5 billion for national infrastructure investments under an existing Department of Transportation grant program.
  • I supported S. 1689, a bill to help states facing water-related public health threats access federal funds for projects that remove lead from drinking water. This bill was passed by the House and Senate and was signed into law by the President on October 4, 2019.

The Gateway Project

The most important, and complex, infrastructure network on the east coast is in our District. The tunnels and rail lines that connect New Jersey and New York are over 100 years old and were battered during Superstorm Sandy. They are in operation today, used to move freight and passengers throughout the region, but they are in desperate need of repair. Without federal government help, state authorities will be forced to shut them down for emergency maintenance or a tunnel could become unuseable - reducing the capacity by up to 75 percent. The Gateway Project is a massive undertaking to protect the economic viability of the region that includes repairing and upgrading these tunnels that tens of thousands of commuters travel through each day as they go in and out of Manhattan. 

New Jersey cannot finance the project by itself, and it should not have to. As a Member of Congress, I have consistently pushed the Department of Transportation to move the Gateway Project’s federal grant application through the Department’s project review process. Repairing and expanding these tunnels will impact anyone who commutes in the northeastern United States or travels by rail along the entire east coast. We cannot afford to play politics with something this important.

Aviation and Ports

The aviation industry is an important sector of our economy and commercial aviation employs thousands of people around the country. Our congressional district is home to part of Newark Liberty International Airport employs 22,000 people, serves 50 airline carriers, and generates $33 billion in economic activity.

This Congress, I have supported legislation that authorizes airline safety programs, pays federal airline employees in case of a government shutdown, and requires training for airline crew members to identify and address fume events onboard aircraft. I will continue my work in the 166th Congress to ensure that our airports have the resources they need to serve my constituents and our airlines have the tools they need to keep passengers safe.

Our district is also home to ports that serve as a throughway for products coming into our country and goods being sold abroad. I have supported legislative efforts to increase funding for grants and loans programs that our ports can draw from for upgrades and repair projects that keep our district competitive.

Transportation and the infrastructure necessary to keep it up impacts our everyday lives. If any one of our nation’s transportation infrastructure network breaks down, Americans immediately feel the impact - especially residents of New Jersey’s 8th Congressional District. That is why I have worked so hard to provide our States and cities with the federal funds they need to maintain current infrastructure networks, expand current infrastructure, and build new projects to meet the needs of growing cities and expanding economies.

 

 

More on Transportation

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.
Aug 7, 2013
Congressman Sires was joined by State Senator Nicholas Sacco (D-32), and several State legislators in West New York, New Jersey at a press conference at the scene of the terrible accident that took the life of eight month old Angelie Paredes. To prevent future accidents and improve public safety, the legislators called for stricter regulations for drivers and bus companies.
Aug 2, 2013
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Albio Sires introduced the Commute Less Act, a bill that will provide employers with the tools and resources they need to give their employees real transportation alternatives, such as rideshare and telework programs, or shuttle services to connect business parks with transit stations.
Jul 29, 2013
Over the weekend, I was joined by members of the “Panel on 21st Century Freight Transportation” for a two day delegation to New Jersey and New York. In addition to touring the Port of New York and New Jersey, including Port Newark-Elizabeth and Greenville Yard, the Panel conducted a field hearing focusing on the ways in which urban freight challenges impact the nation. According to the New Jersey Department of Labor, transportation, logistics, and distribution industries contribute more than 355,000 jobs—about 11% of New Jersey’s workforce—and move about $2 trillion in merchandise throughout the region each year, the importance of goods movement to New Jersey’s 8th District cannot be understated.
Jul 9, 2013
Washington, DC- Today, Congressman Sires was joined by mayors and elected officials representing various municipalities along the Hudson River Waterfront. This press conference addressed the growing concern communities throughout the New Jersey 8th Congressional District has had regarding increased helicopter traffic, along with safety issues and quality of life impact.
Jul 2, 2013
Washington, DC - This weekend’s helicopter crash on the Hudson River highlights once again the need for improved safety and stricter standards of the air-tour industry. Congressman Sires held a meeting today with Mayor Dawn Zimmer, Councilwoman Beth Mason of Hoboken and Freeholder Anthony Romano, as well as elected officials of Weehawken to request a ban on the helicopter tourist industry and also the concern both communities have regarding the increased helicopter traffic, safety issues and quality of life impact.

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