Sires, Menendez, Booker, Payne, Malinowski Announce Additional $13.3M from CARES Act to Support NJT
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Albio Sires (NJ-8), along with U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, and Congressmen Donald Payne, Jr. (NJ-10), and Tom Malinowski (NJ-7), all members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, today announced the awarding of $13,321,545 from the Federal Transit Agency (FTA) to ensure NJ Transit can continue operations in rural parts of the state despite a significant drop-off in ridership and revenue as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding was secured by the lawmakers in the CARES Act that passed in March.
“NJ Transit receiving over $13 million in CARES Act funding is great news for the service's riders and workers,” said Rep. Sires. “Ridership revenue has plummeted as the COVID-19 outbreak kept most American families at home, making it difficult for NJ Transit to keep up with the costs of providing its critical service. This grant funding will help fill in those gaps and make sure NJ Transit is ready to go as Americans begin going back to work.”
“This funding will ensure families across New Jersey, especially those in rural communities, have access to safe and reliable public transportation,” said Sen. Menendez. “As our state begins to reopen responsibly and people get back to work, we must ensure our transit agencies, which are critical to our state’s economy and our hard working families, are up and running. I thank all the frontline workers at NJT who have kept our buses and trains moving during the pandemic and I will continue to fight for the federal resources our state needs to bounce back from the outbreak.”
“New Jersey Transit is a major economic driver for our region and serves a vital role for many commuters across New Jersey, but the current public health crisis has jeopardized its ability to serve our residents both now and into the future,” said Sen. Booker. “A comprehensive economic recovery for our region would be challenging without a fully-operational New Jersey Transit, and I will continue to fight in the Senate to ensure they have the federal resources they need to get them through this crisis.”
“I was excited to hear that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) just awarded New Jersey Transit $13.3 million in grants from the CARES Act,” said Rep. Payne. “This money is critical to keeping NJ Transit operational until we reopen society safely and completely.”
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, New Jersey Transit has kept trains and buses running to ensure our state’s essential workers can continue to do their jobs,” said Rep. Malinowski. “This funding from the CARES Act will help meet the transportation needs of my constituents in rural communities.”
According to NJ Transit, the funding will be used to support transportation services, equipment purchases, and project administration in rural areas of the state, including in Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Mercer, Monmouth, Morris, Salem, Somerset, Sussex and Warren counties.
“Residents in rural areas who most depend on these essential services can be confident that the transportation they desperately need will be sustained thanks to this funding,’’ said NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin Corbett. “This support for our local providers will help fill transportation gaps for New Jersey’s transit-dependent residents.’’
The counties can use this funding to help connect residents in rural parts of their counties to urban areas. For example, Cumberland County can use these funds to link residents to and from Vineland. Similarly, Warren County will be able to ensure residents can connect to and from Phillipsburg.
NJ Transit experienced a steep decline in ridership after social distancing and work-from-home orders were announced in March. While this resulted in service reductions, federal funding was needed to make up for major losses in revenue and keep the buses, trains and light rail running.
In April, the lawmakers announced $1.76 billion from CARES to support NJT’s operations.