Senator Weinberg Issues Statement on Need to Properly, Responsibly Fund NJT in FY 2022 Budget
Trenton – Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, a long-time NJ Transit advocate, today issued a statement calling for adequate and responsible budgeting of the agency in the FY 2022 Budget:
“NJ Transit has been a perennial budget issue thanks to the degradation of service suffered during the Christie Administration. Adequate funding is necessary to maintain service and to make much-needed capital improvements.
“I am concerned, though, that the Governor’s proposed budget includes a $273 million reduction in the state’s subsidy to NJ Transit, while leaving in place longstanding transfers from the Clean Energy Fund and NJ Transit’s capital budget.
“It makes no sense to reduce the state subsidy while leaving these diversions in place,” said Senator Weinberg (D-Bergen). “NJ Transit’s capital plan is not fully funded, and hasn’t been for some time. This unpredictability keeps the agency from being all it can be and leaves pressing needs unaddressed. We should be using this opportunity to make needed improvements to our rail and bus service.”
The Governor’s budget for NJ Transit relies heavily on temporary federal aid. This year, more than $82 million would be diverted from the Clean Energy Fund in order to support NJ Transit’s operational budget, in addition to approximately $360 million from NJ Transit’s capital budget.
“For many years, we’ve had to rob Peter to pay Paul with NJ Transit,” noted Senator Weinberg. “Thanks to the federal aid, this year could be the first year we fully fund NJ Transit’s capital budget,” said Weinberg. “I will be seeking to address this in the budget bill we send to the Governor’s desk.”
NJ Transit’s capital plan calls for improvements including new bus garages, rail improvements, light rail expansion, and bus electrification. Ending the capital diversions would allow NJ Transit to move faster on these much-needed projects.