Regional Plan Association Applauds Increased Funding for NJ Transit in Governor Murphy’s Proposed Budget, But Dedicated Capital Funding Still Needed for Real Progress

“We applaud Governor Murphy for taking a crucial step by increasing NJ Transit funding in this year’s budget,” said Nat Bottigheimer, New Jersey Director of Regional Plan Association. “But much more work is left to be done to secure desperately needed investments and capital improvements to NJ Transit’s aging infrastructure. The Governor must work with the State Legislature on a plan to create a dedicated and predictable funding stream through new funding sources. Without it, NJ Transit will remain underfunded and unreliable. We believe NJ Transit can modernize and transform itself into a bulwark of New Jersey’s economy, improve the environment, and improve the quality of life for thousands of New Jersey residents, but they need the support and resources from Trenton to make it happen.”

Since transit costs increase every year, additional subsidy is required annually for transit service just to keep pace. Without more subsidy in the state budget compared to last year, and with transfers of capital funds to support operations remaining constant at $465 million, NJ Transit would have faced a budget deficit in FY 2021 of $86 million. Governor Murphy’s budget address on Tuesday, February 25th increased the state subsidy provided to NJ Transit by $132 million compared to the prior-year budget, providing an increase of $46 million that is now available for increased and improved operations.

Identifying new sources of ongoing revenue that NJ Transit can count on from year to year to support operations will enable the agency to strategically plan for the future and will free up capital funds for their intended use: investment in system maintenance and expansion of the state’s transportation system.

A variety of revenue sources have been identified to provide support for NJ Transit’s long-term needs dedicated funding needs, including the Corporate Business Income Tax, a Sales Tax increment, toll surcharges.