Jim Johnson Releases Transportation and Infrastructure Plan

Jim Johnson Releases Transportation and Infrastructure Plan

On April 6, 2017, shortly after the two NJ Transit train derailments, Johnson was out on the platforms in Hoboken and Newark talking with constituents and hearing their concerns.
Today, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jim Johnson released his plan for transportation and infrastructure in New Jersey. As Governor, Johnson will prioritize fixing the failures and mistakes of the past and investing in infrastructure in a way that best prepares us for a vibrant economic future.   
 
“New Jersey’s infrastructure is on the brink of catastrophic failure. Due to mismanagement and failed leadership in Trenton, our overcrowded, underfunded patchwork public transportation is badly in need of repair,” said Johnson. “As the multiple train incidents over the past few weeks show, our transit system is not an abstract concern — these incidents cost commuter time, money, and in the most unfortunate cases, lives.”
 
“I’m a fourth generation New Jerseyan. I’ve experienced firsthand the vital role that mass transit and infrastructure play in expanding economic opportunity and socioeconomic mobility for New Jersey families. My great grandfather was part of the team that built the Holland Tunnel. When I worked as an attorney, I was a daily New Jersey Transit commuter. My wife continues to commute to work by train. New Jersey needs a Governor who will stand up for our public transportation system. NJ Transit is in crisis, and we cannot wait any longer to fix our system and get moving again.”
 
To repair New Jersey’s transportation and infrastructure system and return it to its status as a world-class asset, Johnson’s priorities will be to:

  1. Develop a Unified Vision for A Transit System:  While immediate crises must be addressed, long term improvement requires a much more comprehensive plan. As Governor, Johnson will work with experts to develop a systems approach that considers cargo and consumer transportation by roadway, railway, air and water, in an integrated fashion to ensure that people and goods get to where they need to be safely, reliably and affordably.
  2. Fund NJ Transit So It Can Undertake Necessary Repairs and Upgrades. Johnson will ensure that NJ Transit has the funding necessary to install Positive Train Control and other safety mechanisms that will ensure passengers can ride NJ Transit with peace of mind.
  3. Expand Mass Transit by Building the Gateway Tunnel and the New Port Authority Bus Terminal. Johnson will work with the congressional delegation to pressure the federal government for the necessary funding and work on funding alternatives, including public-private partnerships.
  4. Appoint Experts to Boards and Commissions, Rather than Political Appointees. To ensure that the current crises never happen again, Johnson will appoint experts in transportation systems as well as behavioral scientists who can help optimize the efficiency, safety and usefulness of the public transportation system.
  5. Invest in South Jersey’s Transportation Infrastructure. Johnson will help the TTF distribute funding more equally throughout the state, especially in South Jersey, which has been severely underfunded for bridge and road work. Johnson will invest in increasing rail and bus access for South Jersey residents, who are often left behind in the transit discussion.
  6. Implement a System of Predictive Maintenance to Catch Problems Before They Become Crises. For too long, we have reacted to transportation and infrastructure crises rather than proactively moving to head them off. Johnson would adopt the policy of predictive maintenance, where data is analyzed to discover and react to problems before they become crises.
  7. Invest in Transit Oriented Development to Create Vibrant Communities that Fund Public Transportation. As Governor, Johnson will use the strategy of Transit Oriented Development (TOD) to help fund transit projects using private capital. Johnson will also invest in infrastructure jobs, especially in economically disadvantaged communities and use impact on inequality as criteria for transportation projects. Building Transit Oriented Development projects can create vibrant communities with mixed-use buildings, oriented around an efficient public transportation system.

“Re-investing in New Jersey’s infrastructure is not only vital to jump starting the economy but also critical to all of our communities. Access to public transportation and an efficient commute ensures that everyone in New Jersey has a fair shot at a good quality of life,” continued Johnson. “We’re not just talking about bridges and tunnels —we’re talking about people’s lives. A strong infrastructure system can be a tool to combat inequality. As Governor, l will not only invest in our trains, roads, and bridges, but also take steps to ensure that opportunity is shared.”

Read Johnson’s transportation and infrastructure plan in full here.

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